The Pegasus Health Suicide Prevention and Postvention Team ensures that they have a kaupapa Māori lens on the mahi they do. Kia Piki Te Ora is a Māori suicide prevention and postvention service that operates across Aotearoa New Zealand and in 2020, Pegasus Health formalised and funded a part-time Kia Piki Te Ora Coordinator role that sits within the Pegasus Health team.

“This role was important to better inform our Suicide Prevention and Postvention Coordinators on best practices when working with Māori and Māori communities,” Suicide Prevention Team Leader, Tim Murphy, said.

“We are guided by Rawiri Hazel and his te ao Māori and tikanga knowledge. He has supported us in the use of karakia and te reo Māori and have begun cultural supervision as a team.” Tim said

He Waka Tapu Kia Piki Te Ora Coordinator, Rawiri Hazel, is the link between Kia Piki Te Ora and Pegasus Health. In September, he hosted a national hui of Kia Piki Te Ora coordinators at He Waka Tapu.

“The hui was about whakawhanaungatanga [the process of establishing relationships]. I wanted to find out how the coordinators could collaborate and work with each other. I invited Pegasus Health and He Waka Tapu to present and showcase the work we are doing in Waitaha Canterbury because not all coordinators have the same relationship with their local suicide prevention coordinators,” Rawiri said.

Feedback from Te Aka Whai Ora | Māori Health Authority and the Mental Health Foundation representatives who attended the hui has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“Te Aka Whai Ora told us that this approach of having Kia Piki Te Ora working alongside local Suicide Prevention and Postvention Coordinators could influence the approach nationally going forward,” Tim said.

“Over the past 12 months we have strengthened as a team and the collaboration with Rawiri and He Waka Tapu has played a major role in that. The recognition that we are doing it well has been great. There is still plenty more we hope to be able to do in this space to support Māori, their communities and continue our commitment to learning,” Tim said.