7 Jun 2010

Dr Francis Agnew, one of two Pasifika psychiatrists, made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

10:22 am on 7 June 2010

Cook Islander, Dr Francis Agnew, one of just two Pasifika psychiatrists working in New Zealand, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Dr Agnew has been recognised for his services to the Pacific Island community, including the provision of mental health clinics in the Cook Islands and helping to establish similar services in Samoa and American Samoa.

Dr Agnew says there has been significant changes in people's awareness of mental health issues and well being due to the number of national campaigns.

However he says the destigmatization of mental illness is an important process that needs to happen.

"Particularly in the wider Pacific, I think we need to start with public awareness of mental illness and that it is an issue and that it's something that is treatable and we need to be able to have people access intervention services."

Dr Francis Agnew says the award is an attribution to a number of people he has worked with.