This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and given the pressures created by this current Covid-19 Delta outbreak, it is timely that the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) through Pasifika Futures (PFL) – the Whānau Ora agency for Pacific families - will partner with the Pacific Media Network (PMN) to launch a dedicated weekly mental health segment to address mental health concerns from the Pacific community.
The partnership will allow PFL’s Ngalu Fānifo mental health service to reach a digital audience while aiming to normalize conversations around mental health and wellbeing. The Pacific community will be able to hear from Pacific psychologists, psychiatrists and clinical specialists.
The mental health segment will launch this week on Wednesday 29 September on 531 PI’s Pacific Days Show with Brian Sagala at 12:40pm. The talanoa segment will be 20-30 minutes long.
In a talanoa with 531 PI’s Pacific Mornings Show, PMA Member and Psychiatrist Dr Siale Foliaki shared about the Ngalu Fānifo service.
“Ngalu Fānifo is a Tongan metaphor. When life gets difficult and stormy seas get rough, we need support to ride those waves and gently make it back to shore. As a metaphor, that represents what we’re trying to do.
We’ve got a responsibility and a duty of care, particularly during times of duress, to help those that are most vulnerable to navigate difficult times.”
Dr Foliaki explains that the Ngalu Fānifo service is aimed at connecting with the Pacific community more intimately as a means of understanding people’s needs.
“What we really want to do is help people understand that each particular issue that they’ve got, there is a potential solution for that issue.
We’re hoping that our approach, which is a little bit more intimate and more connected with the community, makes it easier for people to ask for help.”
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is to ‘Take time to korero’ - referring to meaningful conversations and checking in on each other.
“It’s good to stop and talk; my key message is to pay particular attention to one another. It’s good to stop and have a conversation with each other particularly during difficult times.”