Sup­port acts for men­tal health

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - SA­MAN­THA GEE

A group of Motueka High School stu­dents were be­hind the all-ages mu­sic fes­ti­val held at Founders Park to pro­mote good men­tal health among youth.

Stu­dent Kiri­wai Spooner, 13, said the Te Tau Ihu Mu­sic Fes­ti­val held on Satur­day was about well­be­ing and self ex­pres­sion.

Keilah De­lany, 14, said it was a chance for people of all ages to get out of the house and have some fun.

The pair had been work­ing with five other Motueka High School stu­dents for the last two terms to help bring the fes­ti­val to fruition.

Decked out in black t-shirts with ‘‘mu­sic fest crew’’ em­bla­zoned on the back, the stu­dents led the fes­ti­val from start to fin­ish with sup­port from Maori health provider Te Piki Oranga.

Te Piki Oranga so­cial worker Sheri­dan Dun­can said the fes­ti­val was the re­sult of a com­pe­ti­tion for ran­gatahi (youth) to led an ini­tia­tive that pro­moted well-be­ing among their peers.

Seven Motueka High stu­dents had been work­ing to­gether for the last four months to pull the event to­gether.

‘‘It’s all about self-ex­pres­sion, youth be­ing able to ex­press them­selves on the stage to show the com­mu­nity what skills and strengths they have,’’ Dun­can said.

En­try was by gold coin do­na­tion, there were bouncy cas­tles and ac­tiv­i­ties for the younger chil­dren and a range of dif­fer­ent food stalls of­fer­ing ‘‘any­thing from hot dogs to hangi’’.

Over the course of the day, there were 16 acts that in­cluded mu­sic, dance and cul­tural per­for­mances.

Dun­can said the aim was to guide youth to have a greater un­der­stand­ing of their per­spec­tives on well-be­ing.

The lat­est statis­tics from the Min­istry of Health show the rate of sui­cide was high­est among people aged 25-44 years and sig­nif­i­cantly higher among Maori than nonMaori. For Maori males it was 1.4 times higher and 1.5 times higher for fe­males.

A youth sui­cide preven­tion pro­gramme has been funded by Te Puni Kokiri, the Min­istry of Maori Devel­op­ment. Te Piki Oranga were con­tracted to im­prove the well­be­ing of youth in Nel­son Tas­man. It held a com­pe­ti­tion for aware­ness rais­ing events that was won by Motueka High School.

PHOTOS: LUZ ZUNIGA/NEL­SON MAIL

Ta­gan Stringer and Char­lie MacLen­nan dur­ing their per­for­mance at Te Tau Ihu Fes­ti­val.

Michal Big­gony checks the sound while Char­lie MacLen­nan takes the stage at Founders Park.

Kameta Wahm­roa per­forms a bal­lad.

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