April 01, 2019
Mad or Māori subject of search
A Massey University researcher wants to know why wāhine Māori are disproportionately represented in negative mental health statistics.
Dr Natasha Tassell-Mātāmua has received a $150,000 Explorer Grant from the Health Research Council to pursue her search.
She says it will involve unpicking culturally-derived conceptualisations of mental health and illness.
She intends to ground the research in an indigenous psychology framework.
By using the meaning of ‘pūrākau’ as a guiding philosophy, she will investigate how psychological phenomena which are not seen as normal are interpreted by Māori and non-Māori women.
Dr Tassell-Mātāmua says the results could challenge the continued use of the DSM-V classification system of mental health and mental illness in Aotearoa New Zealand, if it is found to be non-applicable to Māori.
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