mental health

Growing concern for mental health in Tonga

Aid agencies on the ground were reporting a need to rehabilitate people who were psychologically affected by the eruption and tsunami.

Their distress was made worse by the tough Covid-19 lockdown restrictions being applied in the Kingdom, said Tonga Red Cross Secretary General, Sione Taumoefolau.

NZ medical team notices signs of post-traumatic stress disorder

New Zealand's Pacific Medical Association says that people are starting to show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption was a one-in-1000-year disaster. The resulting tsunami and ash cloud fallout have devastated the Kingdom. Waves up to 15 metres high destroyed hundreds of homes and wiped out entire villages. Miraculously only three people were killed.

"They thought it was World War III" said Amanaki Misa the Pacific Medical Association team leader currently stationed in Tonga.

US Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles withdraws from final over mental health

The American left the arena after the vault, but later returned to support her team-mates as they claimed silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

Biles, 24, scored 13.766 - her lowest Olympic vault score - before withdrawing from the event.

"After the performance I did, I just didn't want to go on," she said.

"I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.

"We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

Scholarship recipients call for more Pasifika in mental health workforce

That's the message from the winners of a record number of scholarships awarded to Pasifika mental health students.

At Tuesday night's Le Va Futures That Work Scholarships Dinner in Manukau, 133 students won a scholarship boost to help them in their journey in the mental health sector.

Anne-Marie Tupetoliahi Hoyt Erick, who's studying a postgraduate diploma in Psychological Practice, wants to see more Pasifika in her disabilities sector.

Closing the 'big disconnection' in Pacific families needed for suicide prevention

Project Manager Tau Faeteete says closing the gap between different generations in Pacific families is a priority place to start.

"This generation is involving faster than ever, and our older people are struggling they don’t know how to keep up, technology's fast, everything is fast.

"We talk about that village model, we really need wrap around programmes - how do we work together with the families because I’m seeing this big disconnection between these generations," says Faeteete.

I AM: How music helped a young Tongan lawyer with anxiety

This week he shared the story of his journey through dance, music, spoken word and film in a showcase called I AM in South Auckland's Māngere Art Centre.

A proud 25-year-old Tongan, Foliaki worked in one of the top four accounting firms in New Zealand as an intern and was even offered a permanent full-time position.

It was a job he recognised as a dream for a graduate lawyer, a fulfilment of his parents' wishes and a pay-off for sacrifices made by his migrant grandparents.

"Wanting to make my family proud is what kept me there," he said.

Pacific doctor urges family focus on elderly during pandemic

Etuini Ma'u of Waikato Hospital said there had been an increase of anxiety and depression among the elderly.

Pacific families needed to take extra care to ensure their elderly were supported during these uncertain times, Dr Ma'u said.

"The impact of lockdown is affecting the elderly deeply. There's been an increase of anxiety and depression. The longer this drags out, the harder it will be for them," he said.

"It's about maintaining that social connection and recognising that this is a very disruptive and uncertain time for your parents, for your elderly."

Mental health support for Pasifika receives funding

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa recently announced a $NZ1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury.

K'Aute Pasifika Trust in Hamilton, which provided services for children and young people, and a day programme for adults, received funding to grow its services.

Chief Executive Leaupepe Rachel Karalus said the funding would make a significant impact now as there was increased anxiety among Pacific children and young people the last time New Zealand was in lockdown.

Rise in number of people checking in on their mental health

The Headfirst website allows people to take self-tests for anxiety or depression.

The website has been around since 2017 and in its first year had almost 14,000 visit.... that number has grown steadily since.

It uses players like Keven Mealamu, Ruby Tui, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Du'Plessis Kirifi as ambassadors to help get the message across, but it's not just for rugby players and supporters.

Dr Nathan Price has been with New Zealand Rugby for six years and is their education and Wellbeing Manager and leads the Headfirst programme.

Akira Ioane's mental health battle after All Blacks RWC snub

Ioane, who made his representative debut for New Zealand as 19-year-old at the Wellington Sevens in 2014, has long been heralded as an elite prospect but has yet to make the leap to test level.

After a roller-coaster season with the Blues in 2019, former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen left Ioane out of the squad, citing his fitness and attitude as road-blocks to his inclusion.