Māori mental health patients are twice as likely as non-Māori to be put into seclusion. Workforce development has been identified as one of the ways to address this disparity.
Seclusion means being placed in a locked, bare room alone. The person is monitored through a window and family members are kept away. It is widely accepted that seclusion is not a legitimate form of treatment for escalating behaviour and can be highly distressing for the patient. The Ministry of Health reportedly has a plan to eliminate seclusion of Māori patients over five years.
In an interview on Radio New Zealand with Marion Blake, Chief Executive of The Platform Trust, said there are a number of possible reasons for the disparity, but there is no evidence to suggest Māori are any more violent than other people with mental illness. She suggested one of the ways to tackle this disparity is workforce development – particularly in tikanga Māori.
Anne Brebner at health research organisation Te Pou says cultural issues aren’t on the top of everyone’s list of priorities when people seek treatment for mental health problems.
Health Promotion Forum offers workshops and courses to provide understanding Māori culture and health models.
The Platform Trust is a national mental health network of community organisations.
Find out about HPF’s training programmes:
- A Treaty Understanding of Hauora in Aotearoa New Zealand (TUHANZ). This is a practical, hands-on course, which explains how the articles of the Treaty can be applied to health promotion planning.
- Working with the whanau ora tool . A practical guide to developing health programmes where Whanau, Hapu, Iwi and Māori communities play a leading role in achieving Whanau Ora.
- Māori indigneity, whanau ora and the determinants of health. Explores the link between Māori indigenous notions of health and wellbeing, the wider determinants of health and elements of whānau ora. As well as informing workplace practice this interactive workshop will provide an open platform for learning, sharing and personal development.
- Māori concepts of health promotion. Introduces participants to shared understandings of traditional Māori concepts, ideologies and practices in relation to health and wellbeing.
Story published 12 November 2013
Photograph courtesy of Ophelia Cherry