Cultural Competency In The Maori And Polynesian Community

1103 Words 5 Pages
From attending meetings and the mental health aid courses I was able to identify theories that focus towards improving services for minority, as well as theory to support claims towards why minority communities such as the Maori and Polynesian community do not seek medical advice, or advice at all when It comes to issues such as mental health. Mental illness is a significant issue in modern day New Zealand for the Pasifika and Maori communities. Both communities are common statistics for many mental illnesses. The most significant implication that comes from mental illness is suicide. According to Oakley Browne (2006), pacific island people aged 16 to 24 are the most at risk ethnic group. This statement can be based on statistics given by the …show more content…
From that query, this introduces the theory of cultural competence. Cultural competence is a medical health term that I learnt from this course. This term is defined to be a set of behaviours, attitudes and policies for professionals to use, as means of working effectively in various cross cultural situations (Cross et. al, 1989). The focus of cultural competency introduces that firstly mental health, and social services are lacking understanding that cultures attribute mental illness to being a cause from religious beliefs. With Maori and Polynesian communities they are very proud people, and with pride comes their demise. Reasons to why they do not take mental health seriously enough is based on the stigma that comes from being labelled mentally ill. The stigma affects the person and also the family. Labelling theory invokes that “social labels can separate individuals from conventional realms of life” (Ferrington & Murray, 2013, p. 21). In regards to cultural views on mental health according to Ma’ia’I (1997) pacific views on mental disorders are often attributed towards religious disobedience, in where they believe that the mentally ill are spiritually possessed because the person has breached a sacred covenant with God. God comes second to none with the pacific people, and I was once one of those believers. I would not call my people ignorant because of these views my people hold, my people just lack information and knowledge on mental health. The bright side for pacific and Maori communities now is that today’s generation and the generation of the future have more access to information on help through the use of the internet, and also through the access to more educational opportunities. It is believed that people who are labelled

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