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Whānau-centred approaches to counselling, community development and suicide prevention place greater emphasis on group relationships and functionality than on individual psychopathology. Positive whānau development is a preventative process insofar as it mediates between individuals, groups, and wider society. The focus is on building strengths and resilience and enabling the creation of an environment where empowerment can over-ride marginalisation, despair, and loss of hope.
Centering preventative strategies on whānau does not dismiss individual needs but recognises the importance of relational synergies as ways of understanding human situations. Expertise in whānau mediation, culturally relevant styles of communication, and building effective whānau leadership are key elements of a community based preventative programmes for Māori.
Presentation by Professor Mason Durie, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori & Pasifika), Massey University at the 2009 SPINZ National Symposium: Culture and Suicide Prevention in Aotearoa: http://www.spinz.org.nz/page/108-events-archive+spinz-national-symposium-2009+symposium-coverage
A video showing parts of this presentation is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvjnYoJAx3o
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