By Ruci Farrell - email@example.com
A new study is hoping to close the knowledge gap around the mental health of Pasifika youth offenders.
Lead by AUT lecturer Dr. Julia Ioane, the study aims to recruit 100 Samoan and Tongan youth offenders to examine the prevalence and severity of mental health problems and substance-use disorders among them.
Over the past five years, an average of 10 per cent of children and young people charged in court were Pasifika.
Dr. Ioane says mental health assessments and interventions need to incorporate fundamental values of Pasifika when working with young people and their families.
"The expected outcomes of this research will look at the issues, provide a solution, stop our young people who are in the justice system from moving forward into the adult prison populations," she says. "But then also being preventative and looking at how we can stop our future generation of Pasifika from entering into the justice system."