Pacific peoples, mental health service engagement and suicide prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand

Jemaima Tiatia-Seath
  • Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, September 2014, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/eihsc-10-2013-0023

Pacific peoples and suicide prevention

What is it about?

The purpose of this paper was to discuss the engagement of Pacific peoples in mental health services in Aotearoa New Zealand and Pacific strategies for suicide prevention. This qualitative study involved 22 interviews with Samoans who had made a suicide attempt and/or had suicide ideation and were engaged in a mental health service. Narratives of mental health services and suicide prevention focused on issues of cultural competency, the importance of family involvement, dichotomous views of western and traditional beliefs around mental illness and the unsuccessful engagement of Pacific youth. This research argues that cultural considerations for Pacific communities are extremely important if mental health service engagement and developments towards Pacific suicide prevention strategies are to be effective.

Why is it important?

It includes some Pacific specific solutions for suicide prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath
University of Auckland

Views are my own and that of the courageous participants who shared their powerful stories.

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