A new Pacific mental health and addictions service opened in Hawke’s Bay last week and was described as the first of its kind for the city.
The service is run by Mapu Maia, a national Pacific health provider that supported Pacific families in the region through COVID-19 and more recently in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.
Mapu Maia CEO Pesio Ah-Honi says, “we know from our previous work in the Hawke’s Bay that there is a high demand for mental health support services in the region, especially after the past few years.”
The service will establish a team of Pacific Health Promoters, Clinicians, Taiala Village Connectors and Rainbow Peer Support Workers.
This multi-disciplinary team will work in partnership with local agencies, community groups, Pacific church leaders and other social service providers to raise awareness of mental health and addictions, while also breaking down barriers to seeking help.
With support funding from Te Whatu Ora, the Hawke’s Bay Pacific community is also backing the new service.
Sharon Malaitai, founder of the Hawke’s Bay community group PolyActive, says “We are very supportive of a dedicated mental health and addiction service for our people here in Hawke’s Bay – especially for our young people who really need it.”