Tiaki Whānau Tiaki Ora: 1000 Māori Homes: The whānau initiative to build wellbeing and resilience to prevent suicide

Tio Sewell, Alex Milner, Tyler Morris


This article provides an overview of the first year of the Tiaki Whānau – Tiaki Ora: 1000 Māori Homes programme (Tiaki Whānau – Tiaki Ora) delivered by Te Rau Ora Centre of Māori Suicide Prevention. Tiaki Whānau – Tiaki Ora provides a unique approach to support whānau to support each other, to raise their knowledge and awareness about suicide prevention and to develop protective factors that foster wellbeing and resilience, with specific self-help tools, and activities.
It is the goal of Te Rau Ora to reach 1000 whānau homes with Tiaki Whānau – Tiaki Ora (Protecting families – Protecting wellbeing). Whānau Champions are recruited and trained to share toolkits (resources) directly into whānau homes. Support for Champions and evaluation are built into the programme. During 2018, Tiaki Whānau – Tiaki Ora was delivered in four regions across the North Island of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Three hundred and eighteen whānau (296 households) and 34 Whānau Champions enrolled in the programme representing a 93 percent target achievement for the first year.
Indicative findings so far show that the Whānau Champions are effective in reaching whānau Māori and that the tools were beneficial in raising awareness in the home, building the capacity of whānau to strengthen their wellbeing and resilience in suicide prevention. Findings indicate a high level of whānau participation and ownership of Tiaki Whānau – Tiaki Ora. This appears to support the contention that the ‘by whānau for whānau’ approach, underscored by respectful information sharing and reciprocal transfer of knowledge, resonates strongly with whānau Māori.

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