What Is Āpōpō?


Many of us in Aotearoa know someone who is or has been affected by mental health and suicide. Many lives are being destroyed by loss of hope and loss of social connection, and we at Scripture Union New Zealand (SUNZ) are dedicated to being part of the solution.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to giving support and manaakitanga to people struggling with mental health and suicide. That’s why we’ve created a dynamic and interactive programme that equips people with basic and effective tools, so that they can feel confident in their role of supporting those around them. Our programme is called ‘Āpōpō’, which means ‘The Next Day’, because for those struggling in this area, the idea of making it to the next day is a powerful one.


A Cooperative Approach

Looking after each other is a group effort, however it’s common for us to feel like we are solely responsible for the well-being of our friends and whānau. That’s why we want to leave people feeling encouraged that they are part of the wider picture. Āpōpō recognises the importance of professional help from counsellors, therapists and the medical sector while also embracing the value of friends, whānau and community, who serve an immediate and long-term role.


About The Programme

The Āpopo programme includes helpful information, tips and tools presented by a trained facilitator and their team of helpers. It is super interactive, involving games, activities and opportunities for participants to practice what they’ve learned through the use of role playing in a safe environment. It is aimed at high school students and adults and will be custom-tailored to the size and age of your group, however here are some of the things you can expect from the experience:


  • Provides tools for helping ourselves, our friends and whānau.

  • Is based on biblical principles.

  • Looks at the warning signs of someone who is struggling.

  • Emphasises the power and practice of listening.

  • Recognises the importance of asking questions in a safe space.

  • Explores the concept, ‘Safe for now’.

  • Teaches skills that anyone can utilise, regardless of their qualification.

  • Embraces a holistic approach to health, best embodied in the ‘Te Whare Tapa Whā’ model.

  • Does not replace a professional approach. It is an initial conversation to equip people with the basic tools to support those around them

  • Āpōpō takes 2-3 hours to present. This can be done all in one block, or we can split the programme into an initial 2 hour block, with a 1 hour follow-up session at a later date.


Is Āpōpō A Christian Programme?

SUNZ is a Christian, faith based organisation and the work that we do will always reflect that. We acknowledge the faith and hope that Jesus offers us and we aren’t ashamed about what we believe, however we are aware that not everyone shares the same beliefs as us. For this reason, we aim to be sensitive and appropriate around the topic of faith and will work closely with you to make sure we cater to what you are comfortable with.