Shaping the future of mental health support for young Coasters

Published date20 July 2022
Publication titleWest Coast Messenger, The
The successful school-based Mana Ake programme is heading to communities around New Zealand, with West Coast health and social services provider Poutini Waiora leading the rollout locally

The initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. At a local level, the programme design is led by a partnership steering group with iwi, consumer and school representation, local social and health services, Health NZ West Coast and the Ministry of Education.

The programme will empower around 950 children in Years 1 to 8 living on the Coast, by providing the right support when and where they need it. It will give them the skills they need to manage grief, loss, parental separation and bullying, while also providing advice, guidance, and workshops for parents, whanau and teachers.

West Coast Mana Ake team leader Sarah Birchfield says whanau and local communities will have an opportunity to co-design the new programme.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our whanau and communities to help create a programme that meets the unique needs of Te Tai Poutini tamariki," she says.

A series of hui will be held during July and August for anyone interested to learn more about Mana Ake and how they can contribute. Events are scheduled in Haast, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Arahura Marae, Reefton, Greymouth, Westport and Karamea.

"Our whanau know exactly the type of challenges their tamariki are facing, so their advice will be invaluable for Mana Ake. Together we will build a successful programme tailored to Te Tai Poutini that will help all tamariki develop positive coping skills and resilience.

"As parents, we want the very best for our tamariki who may be experiencing mental health and well-being challenges. Mana Ake is...

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