Ko wai ahau? (Who am I?) HE2644

November 2021
This resource relates to the following topics:

Using this resource, you can make your own plan that will help you get through tough or challenging times. Try to find a time when you’re feeling calm to make your plan. Ask a trusted mate, supportive whānau member, school counsellor or health worker to give you a hand. Write your own answers to each question. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling, what you need and what works for you. Look at the examples on each page to help you think of different ideas. Use this plan to help guide you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, help you get through tough times, give you hope and keep you safe. 

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November 2021
November 2021
Online only
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NOTE: To order this free resource, please visit the Mental Health Foundation's online shop.


E kore au e ngaro
he kākano i ruia mai
i Rangiātea

I shall never be lost,
for I am a seed sown
from Rangiātea.

Ko wai ahau? (Who am I?)

Kia ora. This pathway will guide you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, help you get through tough times, give you hope and keep you safe.

Try to work through this pathway when you’re feeling calm. Be really honest with yourself – write notes, draw pictures or scribble thoughts… whatever comes naturally. When you see 📷 take photos of the page so you can easily check it during challenging times. This pathway doesn’t need to be completed all at once – take some time and come back and add to it.

Ask a mate you trust or a supportive family/whānau member to work through this with you. You could also ask another support person, like a school counsellor or health
worker, to give you a hand. They can encourage you or help give you ideas if you’re struggling with what to put on your pathway.

We’ve included some examples to kick off the kōrero, but there are no right or wrong answers - do what feels right for you!

What's happening with me?

lost hope/feel angry
sleepy/can't sleep
questioning my sexuality
feel sad/frustrated/scared/nothing
arguing/too much alcohol or drugs
feel overwhelmed/like a burden
feelings of shame/self-harming
want to be alone/avoiding whānau or friends
struggling with school/work
thinking about death/dying
insecure about my looks
can’t breathe/having panic attacks
thoughts of suicide/killing myself
feeling isolated
questioning my identity


What happens when things get really bad? Do you have intense feelings or thoughts? Does your behaviour or the way you react to things change? These are warning signs - telling you to act or seek extra support.

Make a list of your warning signs.

Stay safe checklist

take a break from toxic social media
limit screen time
remove items that make me feel unsafe - give to a mate, throw away or lock up
stay away from places that make me sad
give my car keys to someone I trust
avoid people who hurt or upset me
call a helpline/contact a counsellor
be with or talk to someone who cares about me
do things that make me feel good

You can call or text 1737 anytime to talk to a trained counsellor or contact Youthline (free call 0800 376 633 or free text 234).


When things aren’t going well, you need support to keep yourself safe. Reach out to someone you trust or connect with a counsellor or health worker.

What’s on your stay safe checklist?

What makes me feel good?

being with friends who make me feel good
gaming, skateboarding, playing sport...
being on the marae/being outside
watching a beautiful sunset
moving! – running, walking, dancing...
cuddling my pet/walking on a beach
taking deep breaths/stretching
writing, reading, drawing, taking photos, baking…
saying a prayer/going to church
listening to positive, happy music
eating something delicious/shopping for a treat

It’s hard to find energy or enthusiasm during tough times, but doing small things that bring you hope can help when you’re experiencing challenging thoughts.

What helps you get to a better space?

Stay connected

spend time with/call/message a mate
walk on the whenua with mates or whānau
visit my nanny/koro/other whānau
go to the gym/marae/library/community centre...
go to a busy mall/playground/café
play cards or board games with flatmates or whānau

Connecting with friends or whānau or just being around others at busy places can help you feel better. Think about where you could go or who you could connect with.

What support do you need from people at this time?

What’s important to me?

my mates ❤️ my pets
someone I love who understands me
my art/music/writing/sport...
my whānau
my faith
an upcoming holiday/sports event


During tough times try to focus on what’s important to you or something you’re looking forward to.

What gives you hope or brings you joy?


This probably hasn’t been easy, but you’ve done some great mahi! Look back over your pathways and record three things you’ll do to help you feel better when times are tough.


My support team

Make a list of people you’re comfortable sharing how you’re feeling with. It may be a counsellor, doctor, whānau member or trusted mate(s).

Finding help

The services below offer free support 24/7 and can connect you with others who can help you.


Free call or text 1737 to chat with trained counsellors



0800 376 633

Free text 234





0800 543 354

Free text 4357


You may like to read the booklet Having suicidal thoughts and finding a way back, and there’s other helpful information at mentalhealth.org.nz/help/support-for-myself

Remember, if you or someone you know needs immediate help - call 111

ISBN 978-1-98-855414-3 (Print)
ISBN 978-1-98-855413-6 (PDF)