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New book focuses on mental health within Maori and Pasifika communities

Tuesday 30 July 2013 12:41pm

In the newly-released anthology Pacific Identities and Well-Being, leading Maori and Pasifika practitioners and researchers address mental health concerns within their communities.


Contributors offer unique perspectives on their subject, weaving their personal experiences into the fabric of the questions they address. The result is a rich and diverse collection of contributions providing an essential resource in an area largely under-represented in mental health literature.

‘Through the chapters in this book, New Zealand-based Maori, Pacific and palagi researchers and practitioners contribute to expanding the resources and thinking pertinent to the specific needs and concerns of Maori and Pacific populations,’ says lead editor Margaret Agee.

The book is divided into four parts: Identity, Therapeutic Practice, Death and Dying, Reflexive Practice. Poems by Serie Barford, Selina Tusitala Marsh and Tracey Tawhiao introduce each section. These leading Maori and Pasifika poets give voice to the changing identities and contemporary challenges within their communities.

Growth in Pasifika populations has seen an increase in pressures generated by colonisation, intermarriage, assimilation, economic insecurity and migration. Pacific Identities and Well-Being presents innovative research exploring these issues.

‘Our intention as authors and editors is to make a significant contribution to the literature available on mental health and identity-related matters that are specific to Pacific people, with a particular focus on culturally appropriate ways of thinking about and approaching the mental health needs of those who are often misunderstood within the dominant culture,’ says Margaret Agee.

This book is an essential resource for practitioners and researchers working within Maori and Pasifika communities; it will also provide inspiration and insight to a wider readership.

Pacific Identities and Well-being:
Cross-cultural perspectives

Edited by Margaret Agee, Tracey McIntosh,
Philip Culbertson, Cabrini ‘Ofa Makasiale

For further information, contact

Lead editor:
Margaret Agee

Website Otago University Press