Sarai Tufala is of Tuvaluan and part-Tokelauan descent and spent most of her life in Kiribati before migrating to New Zealand in the 1970s when she was 11.
She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Studies and a Master of Health Science from the University of Auckland and then worked in the mental health sector as a Community Mental Health Supporter.
Sarai is passionate about finding out about why Pacific people underutilise mental health services available to them.
“I’ve got the experience as a community member around those suffering from mental illness and experience as a mental health professional.”
Sarai’s current doctoral research at AUT focuses on Tuvaluan's perceptions of mental health. She is investigating why there is a lack of Pacific people utilising services, both from those with mental illnesses and the relatives and community around them.