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October 15, 2018 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira |
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NT: Te Ara Tauira

Tēnā tātau,
It’s your sis Geo, and as y’all should already know, last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, so I thought it would be fitting to write about thoughts I had during a mental health hui a couple weeks back with Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick. Let’s just say that upon arriving, my first thought was that if this hui were a condiment, someone better call bestfoods and let them know they’ve been robbed. If you get my drift, when me and my sistas walked in it was like someone dropped a spoon of milo in the sugar jar. As you may know, our mental health has been gaining a lot of traction lately through campaigns like The Wait is Over, which was born out of a dire lack of mental health support services at our whare wānanga. There was a strong Māori and Pasifika presence at that rally thanks to our brothers and sisters from NT and PSC. Given that Māori and Pasifika are leading in suicide statistics and are wayyyy more likely to suffer from depression than Pākehā, you could imagine my surprise and disappointment when the possible futures of our mental health outcomes were being painted by white hands with white paint on a white canvas. Don’t get me wrong, the sis Chloe does MASSIVE mahi, but this raises the question — why isn’t there more urgency to create resources and safe spaces to ensure that our people who are suffering the most have a voice and feel comfortable enough to contribute or even be present during these discussions? Well, your sis is one step ahead of you and is in the process of organising a separate hui for our brown brothers and sisters to make sure ourselves and our cultural values and ways of healing are heard. Stay tuned to Ngāi Tauira Pānui and PSC FB pages for more info! KEEP GRINDING AND REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES!!!!

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