Our first Asian Perinatal Mental Health Seminar in five years was held last month in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland, facilitated by PADA General Manager Treena Cooper. The focus was on the perinatal wellbeing of our Asian community, in particular, the unique challenges and strengths faced by Asian families living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We were delighted to have been joined by some amazing presenters.
Firstly Dr Aram Kim, Perinatal Psychiatrist, presented on ‘Postnatal Depression in Asian Women: Unique Challenges and Unique Strengths’. Dr Kim is of Korean descent and spoke to cultural beliefs and practices relating to pregnancy, childbirth, neonatal care and childrearing for Koreans/Asians.
Dr Aram Kim presenting on Postnatal Depression in Asian Women
After a great morning tea, Vishal Rishi & Bushra Ibrahim from TANI – The Asian Network Inc, pictured below with Treena Cooper/PADA, spoke to addressing inequalities and Asian community engagement. They also shared the organisation Healthy Babies Healthy Futures | Oranga Pēpi, Oranga Anga Mua, an organisation run to connect new migrant families with friends and information.
Vishal Rishi, Treena Cooper (PADA), Bushra Ibrahim
After lunch, Nimisha Waller from AUT presented her research project idea; To explore Indian women’s experience of engaging with a Lead Maternity Care (LMC) midwife.
Then followed Kelly Feng and Ingrid Wang from Asian Family Services who presented on the emotional well-being and care of Asian women during the perinatal period, and the systemic issues surrounding Asian women accessing care.
Sue Lim, eCALD® National Programme Director presented on Cultural Competence in Communication and CALD Perinatal Mental Health Resource.
Ingrid Wang, Kelly Feng and Sue Lim
These seminars provide professional development for those supporting families affected by mental illness related to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. When participants leave each seminar, they will better understand how these topics impact families and have strengthened their knowledge and skills to help improve perinatal outcomes.
It is such a shame that midwives are so under-resourced that they are not able to attend our seminars. So much of the information that is shared and presented would be of great benefit to midwives and health professionals who encounter different cultures within their day to day mahi in perinatal care.
Asian Family Services have recently uploaded the report Supporting Equitable Perinatal Mental Health Outcomes for Asian Women onto their website. This research was contracted by the Northern Region District Health Boards to provide understandings of the factors driving Asian women’s low access rates into maternal mental health services and to identify actions to improve access and maternal mental health outcomes for Asian women during the perinatal period (from pregnancy to the first year after childbirth).
Some of the wonderful feedback we received:
“These seminars are a great source of new knowledge.”
“Likely to do referrals to HBHL and Asian Health Services, was not aware of these services. So much more aware of Asian culture”
“I really enjoyed all the guest speakers and the information they shared, it provided me with greater insight, awareness. I will learn more about Asian culture for better understanding, be more aware of mental health, promote all the services I have learnt about today.”
“What I will do differently after today; don’t assume, avoid stereotyping, listen with my heart”
“All the speakers were exceptionally good”
“Asian family services research information was well presented. Not to assume that all Asian people I work with have same ‘culture’, ‘religion’ or ‘beliefs’.”
“Reminding me of importance of cultural awareness.”
“Being mindful about a person’s beliefs and how it applies to deliverying health care services. Do not impose a medical practice to everyone, we have to take note that it does not apply to everyone in regards of culture.”
A reminder that we also have our Free Downloadable Resources available, including ‘Behind The Mask – Postnatal Anxiety & Depression‘ in various languages including in English, Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Mandarin.
E tūtaki ana ngā kapua o te rangi, kei runga, kei runga te Mangoroa e kōpae pū ana.
The clouds in the sky close over, but above them spreads the milky way.