11 May 2018

Call for Pacific-focused mental health services in NZ

3:53 pm on 11 May 2018

A mental health worker in New Zealand is questioning why there are non-Pacific focused organisations delivering mental health services for the Pasifika community.

Sailauama Cheryl Talamaivao was speaking at a public fono in South Auckland, held as part of the government's inquiry into mental health and addiction.

A series of nationwide public consultations seek to glean the efficacy of the country's mental health services.

Sailauama said the lack of cultural competence in the sector was a hindrance to the mental health prospects of the Pasifika community.

She cited a company contracted in her area of West Auckland.

"They have service delivery for Pacific but there is no accountabilities or cultural protocols or any kind of comparison to how they are doing," Sailauama said.

"So who decides that they have this contract? Why would you have a non-Pacific organisation doing service delivery for Pasifika."

Recommendations arising from the consultations will be referred to the government for future mental health policy.

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