Rebuilding Pasifika wellbeing through the COVID-19 pandemic

E vave taunu’u le malaga pe a tatou alo va’a fa’atasi
Our destiny is within sight when we paddle our canoe together

Rebuilding Wellbeing is a new, free online programme for Pasifika families and the health and wellbeing workforce that supports them. Developed by Le Va, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the programme aims to help Pasifika people ease the impact of any psychological difficulties related to COVID-19.

Le Va chief executive Denise Kingi-‘Ulu’ave said Pasifika communities have mobilised quickly over the past few weeks to put many supports in place, from the Government to grassroots level, including in churches, health clinics, community organisations and education providers.

“Le Va is one of the partners in this important response, and Rebuilding Wellbeing is a research-informed programme for helping people understand anxiety and depression so that they are able to navigate their recovery and adapt after their lives have been disrupted.”

Resources for families include Talanoa with compassion – knowing what to do and say to support people when they are in distress; Navigating anxiety – identifying and managing anxious feelings such as worry, nervousness or unease in uncertain and disruptive times; and Navigating depression – understanding that depression is not a weakness but a common experience that people can recover from when they have the right support.

The programme is freely available from Le Va’s website, and includes factsheets in English, Samoan, Tongan and Cook Islands languages.  In addition, Rebuilding Wellbeing is currently offering a limited number of free two-hour webinars for the Pasifika health workforce supporting Pasifika communities.

Denise said it is easy to make assumptions about how people are feeling or doing emotionally from how they look on the outside – but it was important not do that, especially right now.

She said creating a safe space for people to open up and share their feelings could save a life – that’s why it is so important to know what to say and what to do.

“Rebuilding Wellbeing gives people the tools, training and confidence to check in with people with care and compassion and ask if they’re ok – and the knowledge to know what to do and how to support them when they are not.”

She said Le Va wants people to know they are not alone right now, and that with strength and faith, these challenging times will pass.

“Our feelings and emotions change like the waves of the moana, but – like our ancestors – when the waves are rough, we can use our knowledge, values, skills, spirituality and collectivity to navigate our way through safely.”

Find out more – check out Le Va’s website: Rebuilding Wellbeing

Published on: 28 August 2020