Even pacific island mental health service providers

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‘Even Pacific Island mental health service providers create a family unit within the service, where consumers are able to stay in touch with themselves and seek out their cultural heritage. If the true family environment is lacking at home, Pacific Island services provide a family environment, under a strong Polynesian influence.’
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70 Primary Health Organisations: Service development toolkit for mental health services in primary health care An aspect causing particular distress for many Pacific service users is the difficulties their families face in understanding mental illness in general, as well as the specifics of the individual’s illness. The role of mental health services in educating families about mental health and assisting them is crucial to the individual’s recovery. Information about mental health issues in Pacific languages is severely lacking in New Zealand. Many Pacific families and communities have to learn about mental health issues from what information they can gather as they see a family or community member accessing mental health services. This severely disadvantages Pacific peoples because most of the information is in English, a language that some find difficult to speak, let alone read. If any steps towards recovery for Pacific peoples are to be made, education for non- English speaking Pacific peoples will have to be one of the priorities. This does not mean that making available interpreters and/or translated material will suffice. It means that primary mental health workers (who are also language speakers) must be trained and available to families for discussion and information-sharing to ensure full understanding for the patient and their families. This happens through constant dialogue and relationship building. Bathgate and Pulotu-Endemann 1997 identified the following risk and protective factors for mental health. Protective factors Risk factors Support networks and cultural expression Weakened support networks and cultural expression Family support Lack of family support Community (culture bound support) Lack of community support Awareness and esteem of own culture Lack of awareness and esteem Involvement in activities of own culture Lack of involvement in own culture Self-esteem and lack of discrimination Lack of self-esteem and presence of discrimination Exercise of authority, leadership Lack of strong leadership or recognition of authority Parenting – two parents and extended family life Parenting – solo and/or no extended family support Parenting supportive and confident of transition to or balance of Western and traditional perspectives Parenting is not supportive or confident about negotiating Western and traditional perspectives and expectations Safe and secure environment Insecure – violence in the home (physical, verbal) Successful adaptation and co-existence between Western and traditional culture, mores and behaviours Confusion about acceptable and appropriate cultural mores and behaviours. Discomfort with bicultural environment.
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  • Fall '19
  • primary health care, Primary Health Organisations

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