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Nutrition course a success for Pacific Mental Health Service

By Rowena Singh, Faleola Pacific Mental Health Service, Auckland DHB
 
As a mental health service focusing on Pasifika communities, my colleagues and I identified the need to support the people we serve (Tagata Ola) and their families through the provision of health literacy – particularly how to develop a healthier lifestyle through nutrition and healthy eating. 

Significant numbers of Faleola Tagata Ola were identified as being overweight and obese – a growing trend among Pasifika peoples.

We were particularly concerned that our Tagata Ola may develop conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart problems due to lack of physical exercises and not eating healthily, compounding any mental health issues. 

As a result of this, the Faleola Pasifika Mental Health Service team embarked on a journey to find the resources required to run an in-house workshop on healthy eating and living healthily. Our prayer was answered when the Pacific Heartbeat Team came to our rescue!

After gaining skills and knowledge from the Certificate of Pacific Nutrition (CPN) course, I was able to share the message of healthy living by facilitating a six-week nutrition programme for our clients. Many commented positively about this knowledge, and we are hopeful that it supports a holistic approach for our clients.   

Through the integration of the diverse tapestries of skills of the Pacific team and my Faleola colleagues, we have been able to support our people to make changes in their lives.

If you’re interested, enrolments are being taken now for the 2016 Certificate in Pacific Nutrition. Visit the Heart Foundation website for more information.

From L – R: Tangi Poko (Faleola), Jemma O’Donnell (Sanitarium), Regina Wypych (Pacific Heartbeat), Rowena Singh (Faleola) and Sam Lafolua (Pacific Heartbeat)

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