How long is the programme?
Āpōpō takes 2-3 hours to present. We can either do this 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.
We are a state school/community group. Is Āpōpō a faith-based 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. At times we may briefly share what our own personal faith teaches us, without alienating those present who may have different faith traditions.
Won’t talking about suicide encourage it?
No. Removing some of the stigma around suicide and creating a safe space for people to talk is one of the best ways we can tackle it. We are careful not to talk about any methods or stories of suicide, but giving participants the tools to check up on their friends in these areas means that people will be able to get the help that they need before it’s too late.
Will this programme be overwhelming for people who have struggled or are struggling with mental health and suicide?
We aim to approach this subject with as much care and sensitivity as possible, however we are aware that some participants may still find the subject matter difficult. For this reason we always introduce two concepts at the beginning of the programme. These are “challenge by choice” and “you can opt out but not drop out”. These concepts allow all participants to take part to a level where they feel their well-being is still O.K.
Will Āpōpō leave participants feeling like they are solely responsible for the well-being of their friends?
Āpōpō seeks to empower participants to have real, honest and supportive conversations with their friends and loved ones who may be struggling, however we are sure to emphasise that no-one will walk out of our programme as a mental health professional. Instead they will be equipped with the tools and confidence to spot when their loved ones are struggling, make sure they are “safe for now” and point them toward the appropriate health professionals.