Ārai Whakamōmori: An Exploration of Te Whakaruruhau’s Suicide Prevention Strategy
Jones, W. G.-A. M. (2017). Ārai Whakamōmori: An Exploration of Te Whakaruruhau’s Suicide Prevention Strategy (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11700
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11700
Te Whakaruruhau, Waikato Women’s Refuge, have been able to achieve a suicide free environment for their clients for over 31 years. This research sought to understand how Te Whakaruruhau have been successful in preventing suicide for women and their partners. Intimate partner violence is closely associated with suicide risk, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and helplessness and hopelessness. Interviews were held with 11 staff using kaupapa Māori (principles/philosophies) methodologies of: kānohi kitea (greeting, meeting face to face), ako Māori (learning, teaching, reciprocity, cultural pedagogy) and manaaki ki te tangata (caring, hosting people). A thematic analysis provided four main themes: identifying safety and risk issues, prevention methods, following tīkanga, and training and supervision. Sub themes that supported and expanded on each main theme showed that staff interacted and cared for their clients using distinctly Māori worldviews and practices of tīkanga: manner of approach, mā te whakarongo and kōrero (listening and talking), awhi (support), redirecting the focus, and whakamana (to empower), to prevent suicide with their clients. As Te Whakaruruhau is founded on principles of kaupapa Māori, it was evident that staff responded to their clients using manaakitanga (to care for, show respect), aroha (show love, empathy and sympathy), awhi, both physical and emotional support, and whakawhanaungatanga (relationship). A concern for staff was the lack of resourcing to access appropriate training and supervision which they felt impacted on their ability to do their job well. The implications of this study are that more training, specifically around suicide awareness, and mentoring and guidance is needed for staff to continue to provide a suicide free space. Also, this research serves to guide the formation of an indigenous national suicide prevention strategy for clients who access refuges. Ultimately, the research is for families who experience disruptions to their lives through violence offering a pathway and place for them to recover and rebuild their lives.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses