S2:E35 | Blackbutterfly Group: Shining a Spotlight on Pacifika Mental Health

 S2:E35 | Blackbutterfly Group: Shining a Spotlight on Pacifika Mental Health

Within the mental health space, sharing experiences is a powerful way to showcase support, while inspiring others to know they are not alone in their struggles. Committed to creating greater connected communities is this week’s podcast guests, The Blackbutterfly Group.

Janice Elia, Tapu & Joe Fuiava are a trio of Pasifika people from a Samoan and Tongan heritage, born and raised in New Zealand, and currently residing in Brisbane. Tapu and Janice are sisters and both work in specialised community mental health services, while Joe works with children in crisis.

Amongst themselves, many deep discussions were had about personal challenges, as well as what was happening to family and friends, from poor relationships, mental illness to suicide. Knowing others must feel the same, they felt there must be a way to connect to people – and thus, The Blackbutterfly Group was born.

Aiming to create hopeful & growth mindsets in people through the process of storytelling, Blackbutterfly is a regular ‘talanoa’ host. A ‘talanoa’ is a cultural process, enabling people to come together to connect, share wisdom, impart wisdom, grow empathy and find a way forward through the art of storytelling.

Throughout each ‘talanoa’, Blackbutterfly or community members will nominate a topic ranging from Hope to Suicide and as a group, will pose a few questions to help anchor the ensuing conversations.

Listen in as I meet with Tapu to talk about their experiences with mental health, the art of the ‘talanoa’, and what they hope to achieve in the mental health space.