Showcasing: Pasifika Interagency
South Western Sydney
Living Well Domain
The program met the following domains
- Making it local
- Providing the right type of care
- Care for all.
The Pasifika Interagency brings together Pasifika community focused services, academics with an interest in Pasifika mental health, community elders/ religious leaders, local youth programs and the NSW Council for Pacific Communities (NSW CPC).
The purpose of the Pasifika Interagency is to establish a consistent and meaningful platform for effective collaboration between headspace Campbelltown and the Pasifika community in the area.
Although the Campbelltown Local Government Area has a significant population of young people of Pasifika background, there are few dedicated mental health and wellbeing services for this culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population. It has been identified that there is poor access and engagement with existing services from the Pasifika community in the Macarthur area.
headspace Campbelltown recognised that meaningful engagement of young people in their services could not increase without meaningful engagement of the whole community, so the organisation developed the Pasifika Interagency to improve that engagement.
Since October 2017, headspace Campbelltown has:
- hired a clinician of Pasifika background, a first for the area. This clinician also has responsibility for facilitating the Interagency and for outreach to the Pasifika community.
- established a consistent quarterly morning tea meeting to discuss and highlight issues, provide feedback and raise suggestions and ideas.
- reduced barriers to access for young people by delivering services/ programs through outreach at schools, community events, universities, churches and gyms.
- collaborated to develop Pasifika youth-focused programs, with organisations such as Family Planning NSW, Mission Australia and NSW Council for Pacific Communities, to more specifically address young people’s identified needs.
- developed a partnership with Pasifika Access to Higher Education (PATHE) at Western Sydney University.
In 2017-18, 50 Pasifika young people engaged with headspace Campbelltown. This number increased to 226 in 2018-2019.
Lessons learnt through the Pasifika Interagency include:
- a key to building meaningful relationships is listening and acting on feedback
- involving a decision maker in meetings demonstrates serious intent and genuine commitment
- action oriented discussions are highly valued by CALD communities
- ongoing active community engagement is essential – consideration needs be made for ‘who are you working with and do you have someone from the community on board?’
The Pasifika Interagency is the platform for upcoming collaborative and culturally-tailored projects, including:
- Choose Life Suicide Prevention Concert in Campbelltown
- ‘Man Down’ presentation encouraging help seeking and mental health/well-being awareness in young men (in partnership with Mission Australia)
- Hope Walk in Bradbury to raise awareness of suicide/mental health issues
- East Campbelltown Eagles Junior Rugby Leagues Club partnership
- Community education and skill development sessions with the Pasifika Access to Higher Education Schools Network and
- Joint headspace Campbelltown & Pasifika Access to Higher Education internship, through which a psychology undergraduate student is engaged to do an open-ended placement/internship with headspace Campbelltown to work on Pasifika programs, attend relevant training and develop skills in meeting the needs of at-risk young people.