Pasifika Study Group held in Cook Islands

On Tuesday 5 September, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry International Relations (CAPIR) subcommittee facilitated the 2023 Pasifika Study Group in Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. This biennial event is supported by the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) and held before the PMA conference.

Participants came from across the Pacific region including Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands and started the day by sharing their work in mental health. The group then used case vignettes to stimulate problem-focused small group discussion before formal presentations. Topics for the day were: functional neurological disorders, ADHD and dementia.

This year marked 10 years since the first Pasifika Study Group was held in Melbourne and attendees reflected on the benefits they received from the study group including the ideas and learnings they took back to their services and the reconnection with professional networks.

CAPIR thanks Australian High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Ms Phoebe Smith for her brief visit and the other College members who shared their knowledge by participating in the Pasifika Study Group. CAPIR particularly acknowledges the PMA who provided immense support in planning the Pasifika Study Group. The opportunity for the study group to occur in partnership with the PMA and their annual conference over the years has provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of mental health at the highest levels which cannot be underestimated.

The College also took the opportunity to highlight ways it’s committed to growing the psychiatry workforce. During the conference, Dr Staverton (Tony) Kautoke presented alongside the College’s Stakeholder Relations Manager on the Psychiatry Interest Forum and its focus on growing the Pasifika psychiatry workforce.


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