22 Jun

This morning has joined a zoom meeting on ‘Improving mental health services for rangatahi Maori and young people’. Here are some of my thoughts on that.Some five years ago while I was in the Waimarino I met a young Maori who was there, I presume, because of an addiction to drugs. It was probably the next day or the day after I was admitted that I came across the following. He was put in seclusion for I don’t know why but he refused to have lunch. I wrote a poem and asked one of the staff to slip it into him. After reading my poem he agreed to have lunch and a friendship between him and me started. What I want to say is that he felt love and care and that made him comply. He told me that he had done a lot of bad things in the past but I believe that he has changed because he acknowledged that he had been wrong. He was discharged a little bit earlier than I was. I hope that he won’t go back to doing any bad things anymore.I believe in psychosocial strategies. One thing I’d love to see is for organisations can arrange classes or just gatherings for this kind of young people. Include them. Show our care and love to them. Help them to engage in activities that will make them feel proud of themselves and be among the right peers. A good influence is very important. There are so many good activities that we can do to direct us to the right track. Stop the young people from going back to where they were, like going back to drugs or doing ‘bad things’.

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