Indigenous Solutions That Work With Māori Rangatahi

E Oho Rangatahi and Mana Rangatahi are two community-led research projects working to bring about positive changes for rangatahi Māori (Māori youth) in the mental health and wellbeing space.  Both projects seek to contribute to a better understanding of whether cultural programmes for at-risk Māori youth are useful in the context of resilience and wellbeing.  These two projects sit under the umbrella of the Indigenous Solutions: Enabling Māori and Pacific Mental Health Resilience project.  Te Rau Ora, through Dr Kahu McClintock (Pou Whakahaere Te Kīwai Rangahau), has overseen both projects and provided support since 2017.  Each project works with different parts of the rangatahi Māori population and provides interventions specific to the needs of the rangatahi they are working with.

E Oho Rangatahi

The E Oho Rangatahi research project was led by Eugene Davis (Te Ahurei a Rangatahi) and targeted at young Māori males (12 to 18 years) who regularly transit between homes, communities, educational/vocational, and justice spaces. The project’s objectives were focussed on prevention and designed to increase the capacity of Māori to prevent and respond early to developing mental health problems. The research walked alongside the E Oho Rangatahi programme, which aimed to increase knowledge and participation of young Māori males within Māori settings (e.g., marae and other mana whenua settings) to strengthen their respective identities and therefore contribute to their overall wellness.

The marae provided an effective space to engage in both the mental and spiritual elements of the programme. Data was collected via pre and post surveys, as well as individual journal entries, Tuakana-Teina (senior-junior) sessions, and whānau (family) focus groups.

Mana Rangatahi

The Mana Rangatahi research project is being led by Cindy Mokomoko (Te Puna Hauora ki Uta ki Tai Tauranga Moana). The Mana Rangatahi research project is targeted ‘at-risk’ Māori youth (12 to 18 years) who are attending secondary school.  The rangatahi participate in a school-based leadership programme, also called Mana Rangatahi.  Data is being collected through pre and post surveys, focus groups, and teacher questionnaires.  This programme will challenge what is in place and not working and states that Indigenous solutions are an effective and sustainable way forward for improving mental health outcomes with rangatahi.

Watch this space for updates about the release of the research findings from both of these projects.