5 Apr 2012

Pacific Islanders twice as likely to have depression

4:55 am on 5 April 2012

A symposium in Auckland has discussed why young Pacific Islanders are twice as likely as the rest of New Zealand's population to have depression, anxiety issues or try to commit suicide.

Clinical psychologist Dr Siale Foliaki told the gathering that the risk of mental disorder is twice as high in Pacific Island youth born in this country, compared to those who have migrated to New Zealand.

He says one of the most important factors behind depression in youth is the well-being of mothers.

The current rate of Pacific Island mothers with post-natal depression is up to 10% higher than the rest of the population.

In the general population it is 12% to 14% while in the Pacific population it is 20% to 22%.

Dr Foliaki says more Government funding needs to go towards screening for post-natal depression.