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Pasifikology Community funded initiative: Surviving the Storm – A Suicide postvention web-based resource

Pasifikology is a network of those involved in the Pasifika psychology sector in New Zealand, and was a recipient of the FLO  Pasifika Community fund.

Pasifikology’s initiative was to develop a postvention online resource. The resource is based upon Motu-Tapu – a metaphorical landscape that embodies Pacific ways of knowing, including archetypal narratives, proverbs, and words. It derives from the idea that Mana Moana could help understand and frame a uniquely Pacific response; Mana Moana is an indigenous Pacific psychological theory of wellbeing, developed by Dr Karlo Mila.

The desired outcome for this project was the development of a web-based resource that could be used for Pacific families; accessible to both lay professionals and non-professionals alike, who can relate to the material at hand, find some usefulness in the material, and create a language to talk about suicide, grief, loss, and surviving.  

The initiative was broken into several stages; aligning clinical best practice and empirical evidence relating to suicide around congruent aspects of the Motu-Tapu landscape; collating media material and imagery to be used for the site; gaining feedback from multiple sources/key stakeholders i.e. potential consumers, a youth focus group; engaging design and web developers who then provided the template layout work; exploring issues relating to access to content and the use of traditional knowledge in an open forum; and editing content. 

The overall feedback received during the consultation stage was positive, with a particular emphasis on how the site was easy to understand, rather than being pages of content alone: 

It is a respectful, honest, and beautiful way to discuss a really painful topic that has so much stigma.”

Project lead Evangeline Wong said Pasifikology…

is looking at multiple ways of promoting the website and how best to increase the uptake of this very important tool. Our plan to assess its reach and evaluate its effectiveness, is ongoing.” 

The website was launched in late September 2015 at www.survivingthestorm.co.nz


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