'It really did lift my heart'
Minister for Whānau Ora and Associate Minister for Health Peeni Henare visited Māori health provider Te Oranganui in Whanganui last week to hear first-hand how mental wellbeing services were developing following an injection of government funding.
He heard personal stories from whānau who had been part of Korowaitia Te Puna Waiora, a new kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addictions service.
Korowaitia Te Puna Waiora has been designed to provide a "Whanganui-centric" approach to mental wellbeing for whānau experiencing mild to moderate distress.
It is part of a three-year "whole of community, whole of systems" approach to the prevention of suicide, co-designed by Te Oranganui, Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitikei Ruapehu and the former Whanganui District Health Board (now Te Whatu Ora Whanganui).
Initiatives include tāne support group Band of Brothers, wāhine support group Māreikura, and kaupapa wānanga co-designed alongside whānau who are facing mental health challenges.
The minister said the stories he heard were powerful.