As a young adult I fought my own battle with anorexia. I was referred to mental health services, where I experienced gaps and barriers in the system, not able to meet my unique needs as a Maori/Pacific youth. I remember a comment by an eating disorders nurse on how rare it was to see “girls like me” that made me feel completely powerless to help myself. Instead, using the supports from my family, church and community I became well. This experience inspired me to start “Handle the Jandal’, a Polynesian youth-led campaign, which enables youth leadership to take action on health issues that matter to them. Ultimately I believe Polynesian youth can create their own health and wellbeing through leadership development.

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