Supporting Pacific Recovery


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Suicide Postvention: Support for Pacific Communities

The primary aim of this research was to engage Pasifika communities and examine what they considered are the most important, appropriate and effective components to include in the development of Pasifika postvention guidelines in order to provide the best possible support for Pasifika individuals, families, and communities bereaved by suicide. 

The project involved a mixed methods approach. Data was collected through a survey, focus groups and forums with Pasifika communities. This information helped informed the development of Pacific postvention guidelines. This project has the potential to alter Pasifika understandings and transfer knowledge about Pasifika suicide postvention and enable Pasifika communities to respond to the issue with approaches and solutions that accord with the way they describe, understand and experience suicide bereavement. 

About Jemaima Tiatia-Seath 

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath is one of New Zealand’s leading Pacific suicide prevention and research experts. She has 16 years experience in Pacific suicidology and Pacific health and wellbeing. Dr Tiatia spearheads Hibiscus Research, a private research consultancy that has completed a number of projects including:

  • suicidal behaviours and suicide prevention
  • Pacific youth violence
  • Pacific sexual health, youth risk-taking behaviours
  • mental health promotion
  • youth protective factors
  • intentional and unintentional injuries and 
  • Pacific cultural competencies.

Dr Tiatia-Seath has in-depth knowledge of: suicidal behaviours and suicide prevention among Samoan and other Pacific young peoples; suicide issues from Samoan and other Pacific service users’ perspectives, and those of their families. Jemaima recently completed a Health Research Council funded post-doctoral fellowship entitled - ‘Suicide and Samoans: The Journey towards Prevention.' Jemaima completed a one month appointment as Visiting Senior Research Fellow to the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, at Griffith University in Queensland and is currently a member of the Health Quality & Safety Commission's New Zealand Suicide Mortality Review Committee. 

References and Resources

  • Tiatia-Seath, J. Pacific Peoples, Mental Health Service Engagement and Suicide Prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care. 2014:3(15) 
  • Tiatia J. Commentary on 'Cultural Diversity Across the Pacific': Samoan Cultural Constructs of Emotion, New-Zealand Born Samoan Youth Suicidal Behaviours, and Culturally Competent Human Services. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology. 2012:1-5.
  • Tiatia, J. New Zealand-born Samoan Young People, Suicidal Behaviours, and the Positive Impact of Spirituality. In Penina Uliuli: Contemporary Challenges in Mental Health for Pacific Peoples, Culbertson, P., Nelson Agee, & M., Ofa Makasiale, C (Eds) . Honolulu. The University of Hawaii Press, 2008.
  • Tiatia, J. A Bibliography of Pasifika Mental Health Resources. In Penina Uliuli: Contemporary Challenges in Mental Health for Pacific Peoples, Culbertson, P., Nelson Agee, & M., Ofa Makasiale, C (Eds). Honolulu. The University of Hawaii Press, 2008.
  • Tiatia, J. Listen to the Silence. In M. Gilling (Ed.), Research: The Art of Juggling. Wellington: Massey University, 2000.
  • Tiatia, J. Caught Between Cultures. Auckland, Christian Research Association, 1998. 
  • Tiatia J. Coggan C. Young Pacifican Suicide Attempts: A Review of EmergencyDepartment Medical Records, Auckland, New Zealand. Pacific Health Dialog, Journal of Community Health and Clinical Medicine for the Pacific: The Health of Samoans and other Pacificans. 2001; 8(1):124-128.

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