Navigating through rough seas together – The Ngalu Fānifo approach

“Amongst the areas that Pasifika people live and thrive in, I think mental health is growing and I think the need is slowly being met, but I think we’ve still got a way to go. The Ngalu Fānifo initiative helps break a few of those barriers”, says Samoan psychiatry registrar and PMA member Dr Christmas Seu, when sharing on NiuFM about the Ngalu Fānifo segment that will debut tomorrow on Pacific Media Networks (PMN) – 531 PI Pacific Days Show.

The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) through Pasifika Futures (PFL) – the Whānau Ora agency for Pacific families – has responded to growing demand from the Pacific community for mental health support by working with PMN to provide weekly segments where the community has access to Pacific mental health professionals and can receive advice and tips to improve their mental wellbeing.

“Our team is made up of a wide range of professionals, so we’re able to access and dive into those resources. I think that makes it a lot more accessible, especially for our Pasifika people”, says Dr Seu.

“We’ll be able to look at essential topics at the moment, particularly around Covid. There’s a lot of worries and anxiety that’s showing up and it’s understandable given the current climate that we’re in.

We talk with a lot of our colleagues, a lot of our friends and they’re feeling emotionally and physically drained. That’s something that’s coming to the forefront and I think it’s going to be popping up a lot more as we go down the alert levels” he says.

Dr Seu advised during the interview that the Ngalu Fānifo segment will help people understand that they are part of the solution when it comes to their mental health.

“A lot of the time we look towards health professionals and think they have all the answers. It actually sits within ourselves and our communities…If we’re able to navigate that, I think it’ll be a huge support being able to drive that on weekly segments alongside you guys [PMN] and I think the partnership is going to be awesome.”

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Date: Tuesday 28 September 2021