9th March 2018, Volume 131 Number 1471

Diana Rangihuna, Mark Kopua, David Tipene-Leach

Mahi a Atua: a pathway forward for Māori mental health Mental health service provision in New Zealand has been controversial in the 2017 year, with the release of the ActionStation…

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Summary

Māori demand on New Zealand mental health services is out of proportion to the size of the Māori population, and the psychiatric service response is limited by lack of capacity. But there is also an inherent lack of capability, that is, the ability of a Western paradigm psychiatric service to meet the needs of an indigenous community. The Mahi a Atua narratives-based programme established in the primary mental healthcare services of the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne area has created a new approach to psychiatric assessment, diagnosis and therapy that is appropriate, but not confined, to the Māori community. This pilot project will be of interest nationwide and will have implications for those dealing with mental health problems and other forms of social distress.

Abstract

Māori demand on New Zealand mental health services is out of proportion to the size of the Māori population, and the psychiatric service response is limited by lack of capacity. But there is also an inherent lack of capability, that is, the ability of a Western paradigm psychiatric service to meet the needs of an indigenous community. The Mahi a Atua narratives-based programme established in the primary mental healthcare services of the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne area has created a new approach to psychiatric assessment, diagnosis and therapy that is appropriate, but not confined, to the Māori community.

Author Information

Diana Rangihuna, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of Psychiatry, Hauora Tairāwhiti District Health Board, Gisborne; Mark Kopua, Tohunga, Hauora Tairāwhiti District Health Board, Gisborne;
David Tipene-Leach, Professor, Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health Sciences, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay.

Correspondence

Professor David Tipene-Leach, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay.

Correspondence Email

dtipene-leach@eit.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

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