One of those speakers is Etu Pasifika Board Director and Psychiatrist, Dr Staverton Kautoke. Dr Kautoke will Co-chair the Mental Health in the Pacific Region workshop and is looking forward to his talanoa and the opportunity to learn from those in attendance.
He looks forward to having an open discussion around mental health issues and the impact recent events such as the Samoa measles outbreak and the tsunami and volcanic eruptions in Tonga have had on the mental health of the community.
“It will be an opportunity to talanoa about solutions and ways we can all help each other with our mental health here in New Zealand and in the Pacific countries, especially with recent events that have caused on-going disruption”, says Dr Kautoke.
Dr Kautoke also plans to discuss the shared mental health concerns experienced by Pacific families here in NZ and across the Pacific. Such as the covid pandemic and climate change which he believes are environmental stressors that impact everybody.
“All ages are affected and what we always say is that anything and everything that affects the body and the spirit, affects the mind. One cannot separate this fact. Mental health issues are the current pandemic that will have long lasting effects if we do not get things right”.
Dr Kautoke also believes that mental health should be a priority in the lives of our Pasifika people.
“One cannot separate mental health from the different aspects of one's well-being which includes the spiritual, social, physical, and environmental health. Mental health is a priority globally and given the stigma of mental health in our Pasifika communities, mental health support may be perceived as a weakness or shame and will become a barrier to access. This barrier will lead to negative effects for our children and their future. The future of our Pacific community requires our support and care not only physically and spiritually but also mentally. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Future!”
To register for the PMA Conference 2022, please click on the following link - here.
Date: Wednesday 24 August 2022