Penina UliUli- Contempory Challenges in Mental Health for Pacific peoples.

There are many perspectives on the voice hearing experience. In many ways they can be as unique as each person is. Some people may view voice hearing as a spiritual experience. As a way of speaking to their spirit guides and to their ancestors. Within this category we have many cultural expressions. Within New Zealand and the Pacific Islands our cultural heritage is very strong.

In a new book out called “Penina Uliuli, Contempory challenges in Mental health for Pacific peoples”, they have provided a very thorough exploration into the topic of Pacific mental healths unique needs.

I attended the lectures by those that complied the book at the latest TheMHS conference in Auckland and was very impressed. Too often  people are treated as symptoms, rather than as a person with a mind a body and spirit. In this book time and time again it talks of healing the spirit of a person. I especially enjoyed the section by Karen Lupe.

The other area is which there was a lot of interest was that of the Afakasi. A person of different races. One expression was ” A coconut at a Hangi.” The veritable confusion that occurs in a persons psyche when they are of two different spiritual cultures. The Palagi/ pakeha, which seeks to have individual wealth and self gratification, on one half and the Polynesian that seeks to be part of a family group, that puts family needs before the needs of the self. The integration the multiracial groups within a person I am sure will be a subject that will be explored further in the years to come.

There was an interesting section of Foetal Alcohol syndrome, and the negative effects that the terrible effects it has on the mental health of all these people later in life. It certainly presses home that no amount of alcohol is a safe amount when a woman is pregnant. It also touched on some of the issues faced in mental health for adopted children. A subject that has come up often in hearing voices groups and discussions.

It is a very interesting read, I would well recommend it. I got my copy out from the library to read, but it is on Amazon.

Great resource, great read.

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