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Markham Grey

Kaitiaki Taiohi , Rangatahi Services

Markham Grey

A new Youth Wellness Service is being launched at Rangatahi Services – and one of the key players has a new job title.

Markham Grey (on right) has worked as a kaiāwhina in the service since August 2014, but from the beginning of May 2017 will be known as a Kaitiaki Taiohi.

Over the past two and a half years, his role has evolved and the title more accurately expresses that specific work in supporting and being a mentor to young people. It also reflects the wrap-around, holistic approach he takes and the relationships he has built up in the community.

Markham, with typical modesty, says simply that his job compliments the cultural perspective of the Youth Wellness Service.  He works alongside clinicians Sandi Cummings (middle), who is based in South Taranaki, and Sue Griffin (left) who works closely with the CAMHS service at the hospital.

The service is advertising for Youth Wellness Clinicians to increase the capacity of its existing team.

Essentially this new service aims to support young people aged between 12-18 in a proactive manner, before mental wellness issues get out of hand.

“It is strengths based, it’s about enhancing resilience whether that be emotional or behavioural in a more positive way,” says Service leader Julie Armstrong. The issues young people are grappling with can be varied ranging from mild anxiety and depression to substance abuse and relationship difficulties.

Markham’s role is to support that young person from the whānau perspective as well as run a cultural lens over a situation. It might be for example that he works with them on their family or whakapapa connection or helps them deal with anger from a cultural viewpoint. “It’s a good example of the cultural and clinical staff working together – of the two processes aligning so we put a young person and their whānau at the centre,” says Julie. 

“Markham, Sue and Sandi work well together, they support each other which means really good pathways and processes are now being developed for young people.”

If a young person’s mental unwellness progresses to the secondary stage there is an established pathway to CAMHS through Sue’s work. It means all bases are covered – a multi-disciplinary approach can be taken, a brief intervention may happen and the young person discharged.

Throughout that process Markham will walk alongside a young person, helping them on the next step and empowering them to stand on their own.

Markham, who began working at Tui Ora in January 2014, has shown himself to be a valuable kaimahi in building relationships with young people and their families.  His past experience working in schools and as a former minister, means he brings many varied skills to the different roles he has carried out. For him the six Tui Ora Core Principles impact daily on his work: Wairuatanga, Tino Rangatiratanga, Whanaungatanga, Kotahitanga, Manaakitanga and Tikanga O Taranaki. 

“I do my best to apply them in my life which prayerfully impacts on the way I practise my mahi and how I interact with everyone.”

To read more about Taranaki Youth Service click here.

The following proverb influences his daily mahi.

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

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