March 06, 2018
Bennett keen to put the Maori into mental health treatment
Massey University’s new director of clinical psychology training is challenging what he calls excessive emphasis on deficit models of mental wellbeing have been disadvantageous for Maori.
Simon Bennett from Ngati Whakaue, Patu Harakeke, and Kati Waewae is the first Maori to hold the position.
He says while the negative statistics around Maori mental health and high rates of suicide are well known, a heavy focus on the problems has overshadowed the promotion of Maori solutions.
Matauranga Maori is marginalised in the health system, and resources Maori take for granted such as whanaungatanga, whakatauki, and karakia aren’t often seen in mental health services because of a lack of awareness of the important role culture can play in facilitating good mental health.
He wants to train clinical psychologists with the dual competence to work effectively as psychologists with whanau Maori.
Dr Bennett's PhD research completed in 2011 completed his PhD looked at how Maori values, customs and indigenous perspectives could be used in mainstream psychological intervention.
He was a Fulbright Scholar in 2014 which he undertook at the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health in Denver, Colorado.
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