Mental health tools to support all communities

PREKURE’s Chief Science Officer Grant Schofield sat down with Will Fleming from ‘Let’s Get Pre-sifik’ to discuss what we really need to do about mental health and better support for our Pasifika communities.



The New Zealand health system is currently ill-equipt to support mental health issues, particularly for Pasifika communities who once thrived in societies with traditional ways of understanding nature, and the links between the mind and body. But it’s the exact opposite of what happens in today’s NZ society. Something’s changed. One way of thinking about it is that there’s a massive mismatch between the type of environments we previously lived in, and the modern NZ we live in now.

In addition, the lack of resources available to support Pasifika communities with just the basics is causing increased levels of chronic stress and worse versions of ourselves biologically. We are also less robust humans than we used to be, and this has changed rapidly in the last 20 years. Chronic stress levels were at 5% in 2000, then in 2010 it increased to 10%, and now in the 2020’s it’s 20%. We need to address this mental health crisis. We need more functional health with a holistic health view to build more resilient humans.

There is also a vast treatment gap where we haven’t got enough general practitioners, practice nurses and surgeons, with particularly low numbers of psychologists and psychiatrists. But to train more takes a of lot time and resources. The future of medicine needs to provide preventative support and tools, which don’t just treat the symptoms but focus on being more health-centric. 

Grant discusses the tools we need as individuals and as a society to get on top of our mental health crisis. Watch or listen to Grant’s full interview.

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