In 2012, a wave of youth suicides in Northland featured far too many of Ngātiwai descent. 19 people under 25 years took their own lives, a huge increase from 5 the year before (Penney & Dobbs, 2014). Suicide rates for Māori youth in Te Tai Tokerau, including the Ngātiwai rohe, is therefore a major public health issue.
While all hospitalisations can be stressful for patients and their whānau, hospitalisations involving transfers away from home can be even more so and can present unique issues in terms of how whānau negotiate distance, unfamiliarity, active engagement and help-seeking. In this study, we are interested in better understanding how whānau facilitate support and remain actively engaged in the ‘care equation’ when a whānau member is transferred or hospitalised away from their home location.
Māori are more likely to be assessed and treated by a health practitioner trained within a western cultural system that pays little attention to Māori worldviews. Māori continue to experience misdiagnosis, non-voluntary admissions, inappropriate psychometric testing, high suicide rates, limited choices, differences in medication regimes and poorer treatment outcomes.
“I think all New Zealanders pride ourselves on being clean and green, but we are increasingly asking what we need to do to protect that…” When winning support from local authorities, these days it’s the numbers that talk. And as a scientist with Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research based at Lincoln near Christchurch, Dr James Ataria has been using them eloquently for some time in collaborative research projects helping local communities protect culturally significant environments.
“To generate good health policy you need to ensure that the younger population doesn’t miss out.” THE FIRST STEP in fixing any health challenge is to understand what you most need to focus on, says Bridget Robson. For an epidemiologist this view may not seem surprising. But as Director of Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare (Eru Pōmare Māori Health Research Centre) at the Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, the University of Otago, she has shown that the picture of New Zealand patient health can change quite markedly depending on the statistics you use.