With the funding from Social Impact Fund and World Health Organisation, the visit was intended to introduce a psychosocial rehabilitation programme for the stressed, elderly, disabled and those recovering from a mental illness.
The team was also able to conduct a follow up mental health programme for the island as well as the chance to renew and strengthen the mental health committee that was formed in 2007 during Te Kainga’s first mental health visit to Mitiaro.
The three-day programme and workshop had 29 members of the community attending and the five-day visit and the loaded programme addressed many issues for the people of Mitiaro.
The team – Mereana Taikoko and Tua Metepi, partnered with Doctor Rangi Fariu – saw the formation of a new mental health committee which Te Kainga and other stakeholders will continue to support in establishing mental health programmes for the people of Mitiaro. Over the years, the committee had become inactive due to lack of follow up and resources to support mental health programmes on their island.
Mental Health programme volunteer Ann Ngauru-Makara said “they saw the formation of a new mental health committee which Te Kainga and other stakeholders will continue to support in establishing mental health programs for the people of Mitiaro”.
The September visit also empowered participants with new skills, and to share ideas to make a Mitiaro Action Plan as a guide to addressing several social issues on the island.
Mereana Taikoko, director and co-ordinator of Te Kainga’s outer islands outreach programmes extended a sincere appreciation to the following for their support.
The Mitiaro Island Council, Mayor Fred Tereva, MP Ngatokorua Patia, Ministry of Health, government and non government workers, family caregivers, elderly and young people and the Catholic community – who all participated in the programme with ongoing support of Te Kainga’s work.
“Meitaki nui to the new Mitiaro mental health committee for taking up the challenge to do what they can to help provide for the mental health needs of their people,” said Ngauru-Makara.