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Global indigenous suicide prevention, mental health & wellbeing research symposium

He huihuinga rangahau taha hauora hinengaro, taha oranga mō te ārai whakamomori ki ngā iwi taketake o te ao

Monday, Tuesday 26, 27 February 2018

This two-day Global Indigenous Suicide Prevention Research Symposium will examine what works for Indigenous suicide prevention and well-being research focusing on case studies in prevention research including how researchers know whether they are making a difference.

Topics covered  

  • Evidence based practice for indigenous suicide prevention
  • Evidence based practice for indigenous mental health and well-being
  • New protective factors for indigenous suicide prevention and mental health/wellbeing
  • Evidence for Culture in the clinic
  • Evidence for Clinical practice in cultural settings
  • Innovations in indigenous suicide prevention and health and well-being research
  • Towards a global agenda for indigenous suicide prevention

Style of course

A symposium style course which features – world leading suicide prevention and mental health and well-being research teams and research projects (see bios below); research showcase sessions with researchers from Aotearoa, Australia, Pacific, North America and question and answer time, discussion and a summary of the day will be included at the end of each day.

Break-out workshops (maximum of 40 per session) in a range of topics will address specific risk and protective factors for suicide prevention based on the available research. When you collect your registration pack on the day, you will be invited to identify and prioritise your preferred workshop(s). If you have preferences for specific workshop content please email the convenor on asap. We will try and accommodate your request depending on numbers interested in a particular workshop topic.

Workshops to date are: indigenous art therapy; Kāranga; digital story-telling; indigenous language revitalisation; Māori language in clinical contexts; the impacts of methamphetamine; youth mental health; lgbtiq+ mental health; indigenous disabled mental health and wellbeing; indigenous behavioural modification; indigenous mindfulness and metaphors, indigenous humour and wellbeing and more....

Watch this space for updates on the workshops, workshop presenters and topics.

Who should attend?  

This symposium will be of interest to Indigenous researchers and students; practitioner/researchers, clinicians, Government and NGO sectors, youth workers, school teachers, social workers, community advocates and anyone with an interest in preventing indigenous suicide and elevating indigenous mental health and well-being. 

Draft timetable - Day 1

Time Session
8:30am Mihi Whakatau: Mana Whenua
9am Opening of the Symposium: Associate Professor Bridget Robson, Mrs Arawhetu Gray, Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho

Opening Keynote Address: Global Vision, Local Action – The Tūramarama Declaration (Chair, Dr Simon Bennett)
Professor Sir Mason Durie 
Professor Pat Dudgeon

Keynote: Māori me Kuki Airini Māori: An Ancient and Tapū Relationship: The Story of the Takitimu Waka (Chair, Whaea Raiha Gray, Kuia, Kāhui Āriki, Waikato/Tainui)
Hon. Queen Pā Ūpokotini Āriki, OBE
Māmā Rosie Blake

10:30am Morning tea
10.45am Keynotes: Colonising Discourses, Decolonising Imperatives (Chair Veronica Tāwhai)

Kaumātua Moana Jackson (tbc)

11.15am Main Theatre: Māori Suicide Prevention and Well-being Research Showcase (Chair, tbc)

Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho – evidential review for Māori suicide prevention
Mr Michael Naera – an evidence based Māori suicide prevention strategy
Dr Kahu McClintock - Towards a Māori Suicide Prevention Research Agenda
Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki – Indigenous Psychology in Aotearoa
Dr Lynne Russell – Mental Health Promotion with Māori
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere – Takatāpui Past and Present
Dr Catherine Love – Whaia Te Mauriora - Indigenous Entrepreneurship and Suicide Prevention
Dr Lily George - Kokiritia te aroha: Building hope and resilience with Ngātiwai taitamariki and whānau.
Dr Matthew J. Shepherd - SPARXX a computerised CBT programme for Māori adolescents experiencing moderate depression tbc
Mr Keri Ōpai – Te Reo Hāpai – the Language of Enrichment

1:15pm Lunch break
2.00pm Keynote: Educating Pasifika Youth

Associate Professor Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban QSO

2.30pm Pacific Research Showcase (chair, tbc)
Dr Monique Faleafa – Evidential review for Pasifika Suicide Prevention
Dr Denise Kingi-'Ulu'ave – Clinical Research evidence in Pasifika communities
Dr Everdina Fuli – Mana Enhancing Research Collaborations tbc
Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath – Mana Enhancing Research Collaborations tbc
Dr Siali Foliaki, - Evidence Based Crisis Mental Health Services for Pasifika mental health (tbc)
4.10pm Afternoon tea
4:30pm Keynote: Evidenced based Indigenous Measures of Well-being (tbc) – Local and global indigenous wellbeing research measures

Professor Malcolm King, & Dr Alexandra King

5.30pm Closing Karakia
6.00pm Light Supper
6.30pm Evening Keynote: Improving mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: Sharing the Evidence of Effective Interventions
Professor Pat Dudgeon

Draft timetable - Day 2

Time Session
8:30am Karakia and Registration for day 2

Opening of day 2: Whaea Raiha Gray and Whaea Moe Milne, QSM

Summary of Day 1: Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho

Opening Keynote: Tōku Māpihi Maurea - Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga as a strategy for Māori suicide prevention
Whaea Moe Milne - QSM

Keynote: Rethinking Mental Health Services for American Indian Communities: Postcolonial Perspectives and Possibilities
Professor Joseph Gone

10:45am Morning tea

North American Research Showcase (chair tbc)
Professor Laurence Kirmayer – A Review of the Evidence for First Nations suicide prevention in Canada
Professor Malcolm King and Dr Alexandra King – A Review of the Evidence for First Nations Mental Health and Wellbeing in Canada
Dr Joe Stone/Amber Logan – The Evidence of methamphetamine impacts on poor mental health outcomes in Native communities

Main Theatre: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Research Showcase (Chair tbc)
Professor Pat Dudgeon and researchers – Unpacking the evidence of effective interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and Well-being

1:30pm Lunch break

Keynote: The Role of Transcultural Psychiatry in Indigenous Suicide Prevention Globally
Professor Laurence Kirmayer

Keynote: A Māori intervention for working with Māori children and youth with traumatic brain injury
Professor Hinemoa Elder

4.10pm Afternoon tea
4:30pm Evaluation/Summary of Symposium/Where to from Here


5.30pm Certificates of Participation
Closing Karakia

Light Refreshments


 Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho - University of Otago, Wellington. See Keri's PhD here.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Sir Mason Durie KNZM FRSNZ FRANZCP
  • Professor Pat Dudgeon, BAppSc. GDip (Psych). PhD. FAPS
  • Hon. Queen Pā Ūpokotini Āriki, OBE; Rarotonga
  • Māmā Rosie Blake, Cook Islands Consulate
  • Kaumātua Moana Jackson – Internationally Acclaimed Indigenous Rights Lawyer
  • Associate Professor Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban QSO, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika), Victoria University of Wellington
  • Professor Malcolm King PhD, FCCP & Dr Alexandra King, MD, FRCPC, Canada
  • Whaea Moe Milne - QSM, RNPsych. BTchng
  • Professor Joseph Gone - PhD, Professor of Psychology (Clinical Area) and American Culture (Native American Studies)
  • Professor Laurence Kirmayer - MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC
  • Professor Hinemoa Elder – MD, FRCPC

Course cost and registration

$600 early bird, $800 after 20 December 2017.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now