A mātauranga Māori informed, maternal mental health and wellbeing assessment tool is being developed by the National Hauora Coalition (NHC) thanks to funding from Te Aka Whai Ora. 
The tool will guide practitioners working with māmā in the perinatal period on what supports they and their whānau may require.

The initiative is part of Kahu Taurima, the joint approach between Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora on maternity and early years – pre-conception to five years old, or the first 2,000 days of life – for all whānau in Aotearoa.

Te Aka Whai Ora Maiaka Hapori Deputy Chief Executive, Public and Population Health, Selah Hart, says this funding will help weave together a comprehensive story of what is happening for whānau during pregnancy and early years journey to assess the responses that may be needed.

“Primary healthcare providers and their networks across Aotearoa using the tool will allow for a more comprehensive, integrated response, that will lead to more equitable outcomes across the health system.” 

Dr Rachel Brown, Kāti Māmoe ki Wharekauri, Kāi Tahu, CEO at NHC explains what it means.

 “The intention for the maternal mental health and wellbeing tool is for it to be used at multiple points across the perinatal care trajectory. It would assist practitioners in identifying relevant pathways for care and support, further supporting whānau across the motu,” explains Dr Brown.

“Whānau voice will be integral to the development of the maternal mental health assessment tool, with whānau perspectives and experiences reflected throughout the design and the implementation phases.”