We are all dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. As a result, we are seeing and hearing about severe levels of anxiety and mental distress among Pasifika peoples.
The Mana Pasifika approach:
- supports Pasifika communities who are feeling anxious and distressed during these tough times
- focuses on the importance of staying safe and connected
- encourages help seeking (via Mapu Maia, Vaka Tautua and 1737 COVID-19 specific helplines).
Mana Pasifika is a partnership that includes Te Hiringa Hauora, Mapu Maia, Vaka Tautua, the Mental Health Foundation and Pasifika health leaders Phil Siataga, Stephanie Erick, Tui Tararo.
Our approach is to reach as many people as possible with messages that are relevant and meaningful to our Pasifika communities. We are focused on specific regions and have selected media channels and platforms to best reach these audiences.
Our vision is to deliver a unique approach that is both relevant and specific for Pasifika audiences and communities. The approach builds on the key Pasifika values of Alofa (Love), Tautua (Service/To Serve), Fa’aaloalo (Respect), Aiga (Family) and Vā Fealoaloa’i (Relationships). This approach is by us, for us, with us.
Working together, we have developed messages and online content to encourage Pasifika communities to “Stay Safe, Stay Connected”. The messages are currently translated into Samoan, Tongan and Cook Island languages, while we work toward expanding these out to more Pasifika languages.
- The strength of our Pasifika community has always been in our closeness and in tough times like this when we can’t be together, it’s more important than ever that we stay connected. Reaching out to someone can help ease anxiety and just a few caring words can make a difference. Check up on loved ones like close friends or family members. Ask them if they’re doing ok, then encourage them to do the same. Stay safe, stay connected.
We can do it
- We've been here before and we will get through this again together. Our strength as a community grows when we connect and support each other.
- It's ok to feel anxious, lonely or in need of help, but don't face these feelings by yourself and don't let those around you struggle alone. If you or someone you know needs help, reach out today.
- It's ok to not feel ok. Talking to someone about how you're feeling is one of the best things you can do.
- If you're struggling with feelings of anxiety, stress or sadness, have a chat with a trusted person in your life today, or text 1737 for support. #StaySafe #StayConnected
- Many of us are going through a tough time right now, and it's important we don't face this alone. The bravest thing we can do is to speak to someone about how we're feeling. When we put a voice to our thoughts instead of hiding them, we're not just caring for ourselves but we're also creating a stronger, more supportive community for our loved ones. It's not weak to speak up - reach out to someone close or text 1737 for 24/7 support. #StaySafe #StayConnected
Wellness is community
- As children of the Moana, our wellness is collective, it is caring for ourselves and caring for each other.
- Now more than ever we as a people need to come together in heart and mind, keeping our village strong.
This work focuses on reaching the widest range of people within our Pasifika communities. Key audiences include:
- hapū māmā and new parents
- young people
- people with long-term conditions (like diabetes and heart disease)
- small business owners
- essential and frontline workers.
Our first story is with League Legend, Ruben Wiki who talks to destigmatising help seeking around mental distress; debunking the narrative of not having to be a “tough gladiator” all the time.
Our second story is a spoken word by Poet, Grace Iwashita-Taylor called “Wellness is Community, Wellness is Us”; a strengthening piece that speaks to Pasifika with alofa, aroa, ofa, loloma, love about Pasifika and the importance of kaiga, aiga, whanau and family. The poem is backgrounded by images and familiar places for Pasifika, our families and workers, important as our communities are hit with the second wave COVID-19 the discrimination experienced, and the importance of whanau/family through these tough and unprecedented times.
Essential Worker: Pauline’s Story
On the front line, staff at Covid-19 testing stations have seen months of long hours and tough days, giving up time with family and putting their own health at risk to keep our nation safe. To our essential workers: this video is for you – a reminder to look after yourselves, keep an eye on your mental health and make time to talk to someone if you’re feeling stressed or down.
Hapu Mama Video 1: Ema’s Story
We are blessed to bring this tough but powerful story of Ema’s journey through loss and grief into healing and hope. We’d like to thank Ema and her husband David for their courage and strength in sharing their story with us. Fa'afetai tele lava.Please be aware that this video addresses infant loss and we are aware that this may be a difficult topic for some viewers. For those who have experienced loss and are in need of support, visit www.sands.org.nz or www.littleshadow.org.nz to get in touch with someone who can help.
Hapu Mama Video 2: David’s Story (Ema’s Husband)
Father, artist and leader of a South Auckland based non-profit community fitness program, David Toailoa shares with us what has helped him through tough times following the tragic loss of his son and during the recent lockdowns. A huge thank you to David and his wife Ema for sharing their story with us. Fa’afetai tele lava. Please be aware that this video addresses infant loss and we are aware that this may be a difficult topic for some viewers. For those who have experienced loss and are in need of support, visit www.sands.org.nz or www.littleshadow.org.nz to get in touch with someone who can help.
Many of us are going through tough times right now and it can be difficult to talk to someone about how we are feeling. Monty shares his powerful and inspirational journey of mental health and hardships, but in among all the turmoil, there is “always a light and the end of the tunnel, we just have to stand strong”. Monty encourages you to take the time to get in touch with someone you care about and make an effort to #StayConnected. Please be aware that Monty’s story discusses suicide and could be distressing for some people.
Credited as one of the pioneers of hip-hop dance in New Zealand, you may recognise Allister Ngawati-Salaivao from his crew Dziah and their incredible success in the global hip-hop scene in the early 2000s, or you may know him from his current role with Prestige Dance Crew, one of New Zealand's best crews. Allister has seen both highs and lows in his journey through life, and we were privileged to sit down with him to talk about his take on mental health. #StaySafe #StayConnected
Wellbeing Reimagined: Allister Ngawati-Salaivao and Grace Iwashita Taylor
Incorporating spoken word poetry and contemporary dance around mental wellbeing reimagined, Allister and Grace dance and speak to “being so much more than your hurt”. Allister was one of the founding members of the dance group Dziah, which was the first New Zealand dance crew to go to the World Championships, where they placed second.
View Allister and Grace's video
Expecting mum and community worker Rasela opens up to us about pregnancy through lockdown and her journey to healing from past trauma.
New mum and business owner Teuila opens up to us about having a new baby 15 years on from her first, during a global pandemic.
Help spread the word
Resources such as the video above, imagery and messaging are available for community organisations and others to promote awareness in their local communities.