Abstract detail

Title Finding the Boundaries of Tolerance: Exploring attitudes to health illness and disability

Attitudes: values, beliefs and behaviours are mechanisms that position individuals, including or excluding them from a range of relationships or social groups. Various sanctions or rules may hold their position in place or shift it. Hellenes often experience attitudes reflecting immense stigma their own culture has towards people with mental illness or disability. Increasing community and health professionals’ understanding of the nature and implications of this stigma for Hellenes was a catalyst for my doctoral research. We are all different and the same. Culture, identity and mental health worldviews, wellbeing and health-illness experiences of Hellenes in Aotearoa-New Zealand (NZ), was an interpretative mixed method study drawing upon experiences and observations as an inside researcher: NZ-born Greek, Cypriot, and mental health nurse. This paper originates from part of the research findings regarding attitudes expressed particularly by immigrant and first generation NZ-born Hellenes, however, the discussion has common threads of relevance for Hellenes in other communities. It covers a range of health and social conditions affecting people’s mental wellbeing, pre and post migration experiences and attitudes to health, illness, disability and healing. Factors and experiences within Aotearoa-NZ society also affect attitudes and decisions to access help, social or health services.

Primary author
Athena Gavriel