GPS hits the mark

Le Va’s third national conference, Growing Pasifika Solutions (GPS) for our Young People started in style at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, South Auckland.


The conference looks at factors that impact on young Pasifika people – including addiction, mental wellbeing, cultural identity, suicide prevention, public health and education - with the aim of them promoting and sharing solutions.

With an opening prayer from Rev Aliitasi Aiono-Salesa, followed by messages and presentations by Le Va CEO Dr Monique Faleafa, the GPS Youth Action Komiti, DHB Pasefika Matua Council, the conference was officially opened by ACC CEO Scott Pickering. The Opening Keynote address was The Importance of the early years for lifelong mental health by University of Otago Professor Richie Poulton, Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Development.

Le Va also launched a new free wellbeing app for young people called Aunty Dee. The message is - If your problems are getting you down, messing you up or just plain stressing you out, talk to Aunty Dee - she'll help you figure out your problems. Aunty Dee doesn't provide all the answers, she'll guide you to think about and explore your problems in a structured way. Best of all, Aunty Dee is free.


A Plenary Panel: Addressing the Big Issues, followed and continued to generate much discussion afterwards.

Panels on Suicide Prevention & Violence Prevention, Mental Health and Addiction and Public Health & Disability ran throughout the afternoon, with the day completed with a formal dinner and the presentation of Pacific Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Scholarships.

The 2-day event will feature on the Le Va website with a feature in the upcoming Issue 9 of Pacific Peoples Health (which combines with SPASIFIK) in May.