Authors: Imogen Phillips
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: indigenous, solomon island, new zealand, book of proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: In this paper I will share my experience of how 'tambu' impacted on my psychosis and recovery as a New Zealand born part-Melanesian woman. While I was in Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, I encountered 'tambu'. This is a combination of what is sacred and custom or rules for living that preserve the tradition of cultures. I aim to share insights that have come from my experience of 'tambu', psychosis and recovery. Some of the issues that I will deal with are what I experienced as the positive and negative things about 'tambu'; how 'tambu' affects my identity in different cultures and its impact on my mental health; how the break-down of 'tambu' impacts on my relationships with other people; how my psychiatric care could have been enhanced by recognition of 'tambu'. In doing so I hope to be one of the many voices of the indigenous consumer experience that need to be heard in order for our mental health needs to be met. The first part of the paper will consist of a factual account of my experience in the Solomons. The second part of the paper will be my insights about 'tambu' and its affect on my psychosis and recovery. The third part will be a creative response to what I learnt. In this paper I hope to share my story and insights I have gained from 'tambu' and its impact on my mental health so that people working in mental health can have a better understanding of the needs of indigenous peoples.