Fia's Story

Through art, singing, and her church, Fia eventually found the strength to share the overwhelming sense of loneliness she experienced after losing her grandfather when she was just 11 years old. Reaching out to others helped Fia get back on the path to wellness.

I lost my grandfather. Just losing him, made me feel so alone and I didn’t know how to cope

I think I was caught up in the whirlwind of Fa`a Samoa, not understanding what was going on.


All sorts of things affect your mental health

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I felt this emptiness and I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t know what it was

Everything was black. I was eleven. I didn’t want to be here anymore because I felt that he was the only one who truly loved me and looked after me.


Depression or anxiety is different for everyone

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Art, singing, my church group, youth groups; that’s what brought me through

Things improved for me when I spoke about my experiences because I’ve been able to share my story with the youth group.


There are things that can help you get through

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When you share your experience, you lighten the load and that’s something that I don’t have to carry anymore

It’s about just knowing there’s brighter options out there. You know, and just being more supportive and understanding and talk to our kids. 


There are changes you can make to stay well

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I’m stronger now, I can speak to my community. There’s always a way through

Other people's stories

Karakia gave me peace

I korero with whānau

I started training

I got into Waka Ama