Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
Rebuilding mental health resilience following a disaster/crisis through a community outreach programme as a key response to a natural disaster.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Our agency leaders were called in by the New Zealand Social Policy and Welfare agency to do similar work in New Zealand. Christchurch city was hit in September 2010 by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake killing 182 people. The Samoan experience went onto impact the work with Christchurch emergency, health, education, government and non-government and community workers.
Two years later we are still the only team (we would say in the Pacific region) to have developed a specific response to the mental health impacts of disasters and trialed it so extensively. In Samoa we have gathered information on the general health and wellbeing of each of the famiiies impacted by the tsunami. No other agencies have gathered this level of information.
In the meantime we have been very heartened to see the high levels of recovery and can specifically identify specific programmes that are needed for example in the health, economic development, housing or water policy areas.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Across the Pacific region impact may include: drawing on what we have learned and work with specific Ministries of government, the national Churches or local village leadership to shape policy and/or projects that will improve future outcomes for Children, young people and their leadership groups, and Elders.
The main projected impact? To strengthen regional resilience in health, social, cultural, economic and environment sectors.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Possible Barriers: Samoan Government fears of criticism of their handling of the disaster affected villages or populations.
To overcome this we have worked to develop positive and transparent relationships with major ministries e.g. Health, Education and Women, Community and Social Development. One practical example was that we invited the MInistry of Women, Community and Social Development to contribute any questions they may want to include in our review within our quesitonnaire which we put to each of the households that we visited.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Working with Governments of Samoa & New Zealand on social & economic policy directions indicated by our review findings
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Working across the Region on developing culturally based mental health responses in times of disaster and crisis.