By Ruci Farrell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific families in isolated Northland communities are struggling to find adequate support services to address mental health concerns.
That's one of the issues raised with the mental health Inquiry held in Paihia last week.
Josiah Tualamali'i, a member of the Inquiry panel, says in some cases families have to wait for mental health providers to travel in from Auckland.
"In Northland there's a service based in Auckland which has some reach... and there's also a Pacific service in Northland."
"Adding to the difficulties... people who identify as Pacific and some people who might identify more as Māori but then they're also Pasifika."
Mental health Pasifika fono in Paihia. Photo/ Josiah Tualamali'i.
Meanwhile, Pacific health and well-being provider, Le Va, also rolled out the first of its nationwide fono in Paihia last week,.
The Growing Pacific Solutions fono focuses on how to improve mental health outcomes for Pacific families.
Senior manager Apollo Taito says cultural and family resilience are hugely important for the Pacific community.
"Even though they're isolated they're developing their own strong community," he says. "What came out really strong was the importance of culture and the emphasis on family."
Le Va is holding its next GPS fono with the mental health Inquiry in Auckland next month.