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Category Archives: Trauma

Lindah Lepou’s powerful story of survival

Lindah Lepou is a Samoan transwoman, fashion designer, artist, and performer who recently shared her story in the form of a long prose poem called Blah Blah Blah, as part of the Pacific Arts Legacy Project from Pantograph Punch and Creative NZ.

This is an intense but powerful story that takes you on Lindah’s journey through growing up trans in NZ and Samoa, navigating stigma and discrimination, surviving physical and sexual violence, dealing with suicidal urges, and discovering her identity and personal power.

Lindah opens her story with an acknowledgement to ‘Le Va’. I love this concept. It’s like an ancient, indigenous predecessor to social constructionism and family systems thinking.

Jemaima Tiatia-Seath defines Le Va as “the relational space that connects people, things and elements. The sacred space between, the space that binds independent entities together, the space that is context, the space that gives meaning to things. A space not solely observed by the individual but also executed at wider institutional and societal levels. Pacific peoples inhabit multiple social spaces, hold various roles, responsibilities and standing within their families, villages, churches and communities, occupy a range of experiences, by age, socioeconomic position, gender identity, sexual preference, birthplace, ethnicity, disability, and religious/spiritual affiliation. Genuine Pacific cultural competency embraces and values all diversity. (See: Tiatia-Seath, 2018, The importance of Pacific cultural competency in healthcare, Pacific Health Dialog; 21/1: 8-9.) That can start to sound a bit academic sometimes, but when you read a story like Lindah’s, or any recovery story really, the many intersections come to life.

Lindah writes, “Ona muamua Le VA. Blah blah blah blah blah… Soso‘o mai loa AITU. Blah blah blah blah blah… GAFA Sāmoa and Pālagi lineage. A family of multidimensional artists. Blah blah blah blah blah… Solo Sāmoan mother and absent Pālagi father. Blah blah blah blah blah… I was born in Wellington, New Zealand (1973). Blah blah blah blah blah… Transgender. I was an effeminate child named ‘Aaron Lepou’. Blah blah blah blah blah…”

Later, she continues, “Blah blah blah blah blah… I create ‘Lindah Lepou’ with all the courage and qualities I urgently need. I wanted to kill myself. Blah blah blah blah blah… Performing Artist. I started dancing to express myself and build self-confidence. Janet Jackson and En Vogue were my obsession. Blah blah blah blah blah…”

Read the rest of Lindah Lepou’s story on Pantograph Punch here.

Trauma informed mindfulness

With all that is going on the world at the moment, there is a lot of talk about the benefits of mindfulness as a way to cope and heaps of useful tips being shared online. But learning mindfulness can be tricky, especially when we have trauma or psychosis on board, and some adaptations are often needed. So I thought I’d dig up a bit of information to share and came across this article on Psychology Today which sums it up nicely.

“While there is strong scientific evidence to support the use of mindfulness for emotional and psychological healing, it is also important to recognize how these practices can lead to increased distress. For those with unresolved trauma, the practice of mindfulness can be approached carefully and thoughtfully to minimize the likelihood of negative outcomes. […] For some, intentionally engaging in the experience of “being present” with thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations can lead to a resurfacing of unresolved, or even undiscovered, issues and feelings. […] At times, being mindful can leave a survivor feeling like they are trapped or helpless again.” Read more about trauma-informed mindfulness here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/nz/blog/choosing-your-meditation-style/202006/trauma-informed-mindfulness

If you find doing exercises like the Mindful SNACK difficult, this article might help explain why. Know that it’s normal if you’ve got distressing experiences going on inside. Go gently with yourself. Many people find it helpful to start practising for very short times, with things that are outside of them like the view, an object or a piece of music, or while doing something, like walking, eating, drinking a cuppa, or stretching.


Te Pou: Towards restraint-free mental health practice

Te Pou is pleased to launch Towards restraint free mental health practice: Supporting the reduction and prevention of personal restraint in mental health inpatient settings. This resource is the latest in a suite of work aimed at reducing and preventing the use of seclusion and restraint. Services can use this resource to plan and identify best practices that support a least restrictive approach to service delivery.

Contact:
Te Pou
Level 2, Building B, 8 Nugent Street, Grafton, Auckland 1023.
Telephone: +64 9 373 2125www.tepou.org.nz

Engage Facebook Highlights

Here are a half a dozen recent highlights from our Facebook page. Please LIKE US!

Nuggets
Kiwi tastes a golden nugget. It’s delicious. Superb animated film about addiction.

Writing from the Toi Ora Creative Writers in the ArtWeek zine
Toi Ora writers make a splash: writing from Matthew Savage, Liz Higgins, Andrew Holdaway and more.

Nine Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try
Your child turns to you and says, “I don’t want to take the bus. My stomach hurts. Please don’t make me go.” A discussion

Public lecture by Professor Rosalind Gill: Sexting, sexualisation and sexism
Modern youth sexuality, sexting and the sexy selfie. 27 November 2014, 6pm.

Finding the Treatment Options that Suck Less
The Crazymeds Manifesto: to help you find treatment options that suck less.

Worst Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder
When your friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, here are the worst things you can tell them.

New Pathway for ACC Sensitive Claims

ACC are the government organisation that can help people with a physical and/or mental injury suffered as a result of sexual abuse or sexual assault.

A new pathway for ACC Sensitive Claims was released in March this year. 

This page provides an overview of the new ACC sensitive claims service, including its key features.

You’ll need to talk to a GP or a counselor to lodge a sensitive claim with ACC.

For more information about how to lodge a sensitive claim, click here.

World Health Organisation Releases Guidelines on Mental Healthcare After Trauma

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published some guidelines for health professionals on how to provide care to adults and children following a traumatic event.

The document cautions health providers about prescribing benzodiazepines in the month following trauma or loss, sharing research evidence that using benzo’s for acute stress symptoms and trauma-related sleeping problems can prolong recovery from the events and create dependency and tolerance that add to the individual’s difficulties.

Read a summary of the guidelines here.

Get the full report here.

Consultation on Proposal to Change Home-Based Support Services in WDHB Area

C O N S U L T A T I O N ON PROPOSAL TO CHANGE HOME-BASED SUPPORT SERVICES

Waitemata District Health Board are proposing to change the current model of care for the provision of Home and Community Support Services funded within the Waitemata District Health Board area.

Waitemata District Health Board is consulting with its communities and stakeholders on a proposal that may change the model of care for home-based support services within the district. The aim of the proposed model is to ensure clients receive services based on the level of need and that they are empowered to achieve optimal functioning and independence.

Waitemata DHB encourage you to provide feedback.

PROPOSAL

The proposal and other relevant documents are available on the Waitemata District Health Board website.

View Online – Visit: www.waitematadhb.govt.nz to view the proposal and other relevant documents.

Request a hard copy – contact Imelda Quilty-King, Community Engagement Coordinator, Waitemata DHB on mobile: 0212236099 or by email: hbssconsultation@waitematadhb.govt.nz if you wish to request a hard copy or if you have any other query on this proposal.

FEEDBACK

Online – Visit www.waitematadhb.govt.nz to complete a survey using survey monkey.

By post – Request a hard copy or print off the feedback form from the

website and post it the Waitemata District Health Board.

Request a Face to Face meeting – The Waitemata DHB is not holding public meetings however your organisation/group is welcome to request a face-to-face meeting with us by contacting Imelda Quilty-King, Community Engagement Coordinator, Waitemata DHB on mobile: 0212236099 or by email: hbssconsultation@waitematadhb.govt.nz

 

Feedback closes at 5pm, Monday 24 June 2013.

Hikoi for reTHiNK of Mental-Healthcare Choices Arriving in Auckland

One Woman Walking: Hikoi for a Big reTHiNK of Mental Healthcare Choices 

Annie Chapman is on a hikoi across the length of the North Island to raise awareness about the need for better mental healthcare choices to be made available to service-users in New Zealand.

I have ceased to be surprised now by how almost everyone I talk to about why I am walking has a story to tell of friends or loved ones in need, utterly failed by the mental health system.” ~ Annie Chapman, 21 December 2012

Annie Chapman will be in Auckland from the 14th – 21st February 2013 (and in fact she may arrive a few days earlier than this).

So far the Auckland events in place are:

• Saturday morning, 16th Feb, from 10 am til 12 noon at Morra Hall, Waiheke.  Note: there has been a change of venue to allow for a more formal setting.  Instead of Ostend Market as originally planned, Annie Chapman will now be at Morra Hall, Oneroa, Waiheke
• A meeting on 15th February with colleagues of Brigitte Sistig re Yoga and Depression
• A second radio interview with “Take it from Us” (Feb 19)
• A screening/talk of Jim Marbrook’s film “Mental Notes” as a fund-raiser on the 17th of February  at Connect SR in Glenfield.

If you have any questions or suggestions of other good possible places to meet, speak or be interviewed by media, please contact Annie direct on 027 4272644 or Hikoiforhealth@gmail.com

Find out more on the official Facebook Page

Help spread the wordinvite your friends to the Facebook Event

Bullying Can Lead to PTSD Symptoms

A new study has found a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among teenagers who have been bullied.

The study of 963 teens aged 14 and 15 in Norwegian schools found symptoms of the disorder in about 33 percent of the students who said they were victims of bullying — though it did not determine that these students were diagnosed with full-blown PTSD.

“This is noteworthy, but nevertheless unsurprising,” said psychologist Dr. Thormod Idsøe from the University of Stavanger (UiS) and Bergen’s Center for Crisis Psychology.

“Bullying is defined as long-term physical or mental violence by an individual or group. It’s directed at a person who’s not able to defend themselves at the relevant time. We know that such experiences can leave a mark on the victim.”

Read the full article at Psych Central