Vaka Tautua celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week with 'Pacific Connect'
Monday 14 October
News item | Vaka Tautua
Vaka Tautua celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week last week by hosting a number of celebrations across the Auckland region.
‘Pacific Connect’ brought people together from all walks of life to celebrate the lives of Pacific people living with mental illness. People were invited to come along and to learn about mental health through the powerful testimonies and journeys of people with lived experience of mental illness.
Many of the speakers shared stories about their experience of discrimination, bullying and isolation as a result of their mental illness. Their stories reinforced the importance of strong support networks when supporting people living with mental illness.
With this year’s theme being ‘Keep Learning’, Vaka Tautua CEO Vui Mark Gosche encouraged people to “be curious, embrace new experiences, see opportunities and surprise yourself.”
The event would not have been possible without the generous support of the ASB Trust and the over 300 people who were able to participate in some way or another from the team at Vaka Tautua a heartfelt thanks to the following for their support and assistance in organising ‘Pacific Connect’.
Niuean Matua Group, Pastor Dyason Kuresa from the Otara SDA church and his Quartet Singers and Pastor Adam Weal from the Mangere Have Life Church and the Nair Singers. Vaka Tautua would also like to acknowledge all the community providers and guest speakers who came and shared information about their services with the community.In particular Isa Lei (West), Takanga A Fohe (West), Lingi Pulesea from The Fono (West), Nasim Ali & Fatima Akehurst from the Blind Foundation, Tai Faalogo from the Stroke Foundation (South), Melemele Puka from Vaka Tautua’s LMLM Project, Fale Ola Mental Health Services (South) and Delvin Godinet and Jay Hawkins from the Phab Pasefika, Tony Peterson from Recovery Solutions, Jennings George-Koteka from Youth Link and entertainer Johnny Angel. Malo ‘aupito!