Whānau Ora, a strengths-based approach to Youth Mental Health

Wednesday 4 April 2012, 5:26PM

By Tariana Turia


The Minister for Whānau Ora, Tariana Turia, has welcomed the recognition that Whānau Ora is intimately linked to the drive to improve youth mental health.

“Whānau Ora, at its heart, is about whānau, aiga or families coming together to support each other through building shared aspirations, and working together to achieve those aspirations,” said Mrs Turia.

“Young people are valued members of whānau, and so I am pleased that we are able to support their development as part of the Prime Minister’s project announced today.”

Over the next two years $480,000 will be allocated to two Whānau Ora providers with mental health expertise to work with young people between the ages of 12 and 19.

“What makes this initiative unique is the whole-whānau approach, which focuses on building leadership and resilience within whānau collectives,” said Mrs Turia.

“It’s about whānau taking control of situations that impact on youth mental health, and empowering them with the knowledge and skills to assist them to deal with these significant events in their lives.”

The two Whānau Ora collectives, when chosen, will be tasked with working with 40 young people and their whānau within high-need geographic areas over a two year period.

“Young people will be referred by a range of support services such as school nurses, Child Youth and Family or Youth Courts, and be supported by a range of health and service providers within the Whānau Ora collectives,” said Mrs Turia.

“I am pleased that we are able to support the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Package. Working together and collaborating on solutions to complex issues, is a good model for future work in the health and social services sector.”