Dr. Hinemoa Elder - Whānau, whakapapa and health (#14)

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"Just being in the room with somebody who chooses to start talking about their pain is incredibly powerful. Just sitting there and nodding. Even if you’re thinking I’ve no idea I don’t know what to say, this is quite scary stuff. Just sitting with the person and saying I’m here with you, I’m here for you. I’m so glad that you’re talking about this. Just let them talk." - Dr. Hinemoa Elder.


Dr. Hinemoa Elder descends from Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi. She is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, working with whānau going through challenges we all hope to never face. She's also a professor of indigenous research, an NZ Order of Merit recipient for services to Māori and psychiatry, works for Māori and Aotearoa on a number of panels and is a champion of te reo Māori.


The ultimate aim of this podcast is to share whakaaro from people who have found a way to live a life they love so that others of us can try and do the same, so we start there.

Dr. Hinemoa is a psychiatrist, so of course, we talk about mental health, hauora and healing strategies, Māori trust in the health system and our vaccination rates. We talk about parenting in a healthy way. We reflect on the huge power of knowing your history and the stories of your tūpuna, the power of routine and lots more. 

We didn’t get through all of the kōrero we wanted to, but we’ll be back for a second edition later!


We talk about suicide at a signals and prevention level, so if that’s triggering to you e te whānau, kia tūpato, please be careful.

But also, if like me, you worry you’re not equipped to help friends or whānau going through mental distress at that level, then I hope it's useful.


As well as the above, some of the topics we touch on in this kōrero are:


  • Māori trust in the health system
  • Talking about our pain, and listening to our people going through mental health distress
  • The stereotypes we’ve created around tāne (men) in Aotearoa
  • Signs we can be mindful of in whānau to tell us things might not be going well
  • Holistic health care and its current state in the health system
  • The impacts on our mental health of including Māori history at school
  • The mix of independence, and interdependence for tamariki and the importance of community


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Resources and mentions


Aroha - the book


Question: what was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Comment below and let us know!

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