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Mana expands with specialist staff to support its rangatahi

Mana, the social enterprise caring for complex, high-risk rangatahi, is proud to announce the appointments of two specialist kaimahi, who will help ensure its youth receive wrap-around support.

Mana, which was founded just three years ago, is committed to ensuring its rangatahi receive holistic care, that responds to the complexity of their needs. This means creating a bespoke plan for each youth in care, considering factors such as their background, culture, and mental and physical health.

Lachlan Sloan, co-founder and CEO of Mana, says: “Mana cares for youth with complex issues, including extensive histories of trauma. This means we need to offer specialist services from the appropriate experts. Having the right people and knowledge within the Mana whānau means we can support our rangatahi as they work to understand their past and navigate their way to a more positive, healthy future.

“We are happy to announce that Dr Gus Elkington and Conrad Peihopa are now part of the team, bringing skills and knowledge that ensures we can provide even greater levels of speciality care for our youth.”

Gus (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāruahine and Ngãi Tahu), is a clinical psychologist whose mahi has centred on trauma-focused therapy, with a focus on Mãori communities. His experience includes supporting inmates with complex needs at Spring Hill Corrections Facility, mentoring Mãori recipients of Te Rau Puawai scholarships, and contributing to research aimed at reducing suicide within Mãori communities.

Gus says he is committed to providing pathways for youth who have suffered, to break the cycle and see other ways forward. “Trauma can happen, but when love becomes the foundation of your life you are more able to navigate this and be able to cope with the pain. My role is to awhi these rangatahi so they become more resilient and are able to see a different future for themselves.”

Conrad (Ngāti Rēhia, Ngāti Hine) this month begins his role as regional manager for Tāmaki Makaurau. Conrad is from a military law enforcement background and says being in the social services sector is “my way of giving back to the community.

“I always had a strong sense of wanting to serve my country, and will be doing that by helping the next generation. I know from my personal experiences and background the power of aroha, and will be drawing on that to guide and nurture our rangatahi toward a better future. I’m looking forward to contributing to this important mahi.”

Gus and Conrad join Mana as it expands in other areas. Last month Mana launched Mana Wahine, offering bespoke care for wāhine, with an initial focus on Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.


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