The Unspoken Series

Five Pasifika families are taking part in a series of videos to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health in Pacific communities.

Run by AIGAMUA, with the support of Pasefika Proud, the families document their journeys through quite different lenses and areas of mental health. 

The five family dynamics to be featured are:

  1. Mother and Daughter - (Tongan Fakaleiti)
  2. Husband and Wife – Samoan/Tongan/Fijian –  their individual mental health journeys and the spiritual connection that brought their paths together)
  3. Siblings - Cook Island (Journey through Drug and Alcohol abuse)
  4. Autistic Family - Tongan/Samoan (Family with a child on the Autism Spectrum)
  5. Men’s Kava Club - Tongan/Samoan (Pacific Men’s Mental Health)

Part of the reason for the series is the feedback received from a Mental Health Youth Convention held in late 2023. The group said it was "inspired" by the feedback given, not just by the target audience, but also by their families and community providers. 

AIGAMUA said it felt "an overwhelming response" to respond to the mental health needs of the family as a whole, following the event in Hastings. 

The group was born from a significant rise in the numbers of young Pasefika suffering mental health issues in Hawkes Bay. 

Its Folauga mental health model underpinned the key pillars of 'Family First', and a collective response to ensure young people are protected and supported. The aim is to "give hope to our people suffering with their mental health.

Calling it "The Unspoken Family Series" AIGUMUA said it was a chance to shed light on some of the challenges and barriers that Pasifika families face. 

After collating the feedback from the Youth Convention, the group decided the best way to reach a wider audience was by going into the homes of participants and giving them the space to tell their stories. 

AIGAMUA acknowledged ongoing support from Pasefika Proud, not just through funding and a platform, but also support, belief and valuable feedback. 

"They have been available for questions, queries and concerns. We appreciate all the genuine help they have given us".

The video of the first episode in the series was launched at an invitation only function in Hastings on Friday 3rd May.  Pasefika Proud’s lead advisor, Tuta Visesio-Pita was one of the guests who said it was a great event for the community.  

“It was close to home for me. The unspoken stories now spoken give hope and inspiration. It's always hard and challenging to explain what mental health looks like at different levels. Enabling the platform for our people to share their stories is powerful. I'm happy that Pasefika Proud was able to be a part of this and enabling AIGAMUA to bring the unspoken stories to be spoken", Tuta said. 

Episode 1 Nane & Andrae - LIVE NOW
A story about a brother, a sister, their upbringing and how addiction affected their relationship. 

Episode 2 Nina & Valu - LIVE NOW
A relationship between a Fakaleiti and her mother and some of the barriers they have overcome.

Episode 3 Peter & Noelle - LIVE NOW
The spiritual journey about 2 individuals who have both overcome their own mental health battles.

Episode 4 Fameitau Family - LIVE NOW
A family with a son on the Autism Spectrum and some of the challenges they face.

Episode 5 Kava Club - LIVE NOW
A brotherhood formed around a Kava circle to encourage Pasifika men that it’s important to have a safe space to talk about their challengers. Breaking the stigma of men showing no emotion and being vulnerable in a safe space.


AIGAMUA is a Pacific organisation leading Pacific mental health movement for social change to reverse the adversity of mental health impacting Pacific families based in the Hastings area, raising awareness and encourage Pacific people to seek professional help. We also provide referrals to organisations that may be able to help. AIGAMUA was born from a significant rise in the number of young Pasefika suffering from mental health related issues in Hawkes Bay.  Their Folauga mental health model underpinned the key pillars of ‘Family First’ and a collective response to ensure young people and their families are protected and supported before it gets to the crisis point of self-harm.