Genevieve Simpson – Te Moananui

Ngāti Hako, Ngāti Tamatera and Ngāti Maru

Genevieve is a solo mum to two teenage girls and is in her fourth and final year of studying for a Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Genevieve embarked on her studies following the tragic death of her brother, who experienced severe illness while under the care of mental health services. Since then, she has dedicated herself to improving the broken mental health system in Aotearoa.

Genevieve received a Māori Health Leadership Scholarship through Te Rau Ora to contribute to her studies. Upon completing her studies, her goal is to review and ensure funding and planning for health and wellbeing services adequately support whānau.

For the past seven years, Genevieve has worked in the community mental health and addictions field as part of the Wise Group, a mental health and wellbeing service provider in New Zealand. She also co-manages a support group for those bereaved by suicide and assists other whānau in navigating the mental health and coronial systems.

Genevieve is also part of the coronial design group working with the Manatū Hauora Suicide Prevention Office to reduce the challenges whanau face when having to participate in coronial inquests. Genevieve’s latest project is creating a bi-cultural grief model that incorporates both Western and Mātauranga Māori perspectives to support Māori better working through the effects of grief.

Recently, she has taken on a role within the rural north community mental health team at the Waikato District Health Board, where she will move into a social work role once she completes her studies. In her work, Genevieve is committed to bridging the inequity gap between Māori and non-Māori, particularly in secondary mental health services; she would also like to see Māori whanau overrepresented in education and underrepresented in all other negative statistics.

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