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The role of culture in Pacific suicide prevention

3 months
Approved budget:
Ms Luarell King
Health issue:
Mental health (and sleep disorders)
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Summer Studentship
Lay summary
In New Zealand, suicide in Pacific communities is a significant issue. We know that suicides among Pacific people born in New Zealand are different to those who are born in the Islands. To prevent suicides, we need to better understand and bring together both the traditional and new (or contemporary) Pacific cultural beliefs, knowledge and attitudes. In this project I will: 1. Look at the different Pacific cultural beliefs, knowledge and attitudes Pacific people have about mental health and suicide; and 2. Suggest how these could be used to prevent further Pacific suicides. This project is important because suicides are a growing concern for Pacific communities. Despite out advances in knowledge, we still know very little about how to prevent Pacific suicides. Given the differences between traditional and contemporary Pacific beliefs, by looking closely at these, we may be able to find ways of preventing further deaths in our community.