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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

A call for proposals from Pasifika-led organisations in a process that could see up to $4 million in funding provided for new Pasifika primary mental health and addiction services over the next few months was announced today by the Ministry of Health.

This funding is part of making it easier for Pacific peoples who might be experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues to have access to and choice of mental health and addiction services and support where and when it is needed.

“We have a commitment to ensure anyone in distress can easily access free mental health and addiction support. It has been proven that culturally appropriate services achieve better mental health outcomes, and we are making sure that there is a range of appropriate support in place for the Pacific community in New Zealand,” said Deputy Director-General Mental Health and Addiction Robyn Shearer.

The Ministry of Health is seeking proposals from Pasifika-led and run organisations with the criteria for success having been put together following feedback from a series of fono at the end of last year.

Organisations need to show that their services align with the vision of Ola Manuia, Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan 2020-2025, that ‘Pacific families are thriving in Aotearoa New Zealand’ through principles of wellbeing, respectful relationships, valuing families and high-quality care.

“We are aiming to strengthen community and family support systems so there is good information and a range of support available to provide prevention and early intervention,” said Ms Shearer.

The RFP covers six regions where the majority of Pacific peoples live – Auckland, Counties Manukau, Hawkes Bay, Hutt Valley, Capital and Coast, and Southern Regions area – and complements other RFPs that expand primary mental health and addiction services across the country.

The RFP for new Pasifika mental health and addiction services is open from Monday 8 June and closes on Friday 31 July 2020.

More information and applications are available on the GETS website with contracts expected to be in place later this year.

The RFP for expanding and replicating existing Pasifika primary mental health and addiction services has been completed and an announcement about contracts awarded is expected shortly.

At the more critical end of the mental health and wellbeing spectrum, the Pasifika Suicide Prevention Community Fund, which is being administered by Le Va, is also open for applications. 

Funded by the Suicide Prevention Office, Ministry of Health, it seeks to address the disproportionately high suicide rate among Pacific peoples – particularly youth – by supporting Pasifika families and communities to prevent suicide and respond effectively when suicides occur. 

The application period runs from 3 to 30 June 2020 and successful applicants will be announced at the end of July. Read more about the Pasifika Suicide Prevention Community Fund on the Le Va website.

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Peter Abernethy
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