Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples

 Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples

A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.

Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by Pacific-for-Pacific health service, to expand the range of services they already provide. This includes establishing a new mental health service in West Auckland. The funding will also go to Etu Pasifika to expand services in Canterbury.

K’Aute Pasifika in Hamilton, which provides services for children and young people, and a day programme for adults, has also received funding to grow its services.

“There is strong evidence that people receiving mental health and wellbeing support in a culturally safe and inclusive way are much more likely to have a positive experience and better results,” Jenny Salesa said.

“We know there’s huge unmet need for services tailored specifically for Pacific peoples and Māori, and today’s announcement is just the start of our plan to address some of the need in mental health.

“Expanding services for Pacific peoples is part of a five-year programme that also includes dedicated funding for Māori and young people.

“We’ve started with expanding programmes that already exist, but there’s more to come in terms of establishing entirely new services around the country. Our focus is on providing mental wellbeing support early and quickly to help people stay well.

“This is about developing existing services that are working well. Working with established providers means that services can be expanded rapidly, and that people can have confidence that services will be there when they need them,” Jenny Salesa said.

Media contact: Julie Jacobson 021 806 085

Note to editors:

Health officials held a series of fono, or focus groups, with Pacific peoples and hui with Māori at the end of last year to collaborate on designing new services. Feedback from those sessions has been used to inform the Request for proposals (RFP) for new services for Pacific peoples that closed last week, and the RFP for new kaupapa Māori services that closes on Monday 10 August 2020.

In April, the Government announced $40 million for new integrated primary and community mental health services which will see more than 350 Health Improvement Practitioners, Health Coaches and support workers

For further comment you may also want to speak to  Debbie Sorrenson, CEO of the Pasifika Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency, Pasifika Futures on 021 502 887

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