Support Groups

able provides various support groups, located throughout Otago, Southland, Central Otago and Waitaki. Support Groups give families and whānau the opportunity to make friends, share information, share stories, listen, have fun, and to be just you.

For more information on any of these groups, please get in touch

Children Understanding Mental Illness (CUMI)

It is well understood that mental illness affects more than just the sufferer. The family of a person with the mental illness may experience loss, grief, anger, frustration and much more in dealing with the illness of a family member.

Education and understanding of mental illness are key factors in the recovery process. The more help and support the family member can obtain from those around them, the easier the road to returning to health will be.

CUMI (Children Understanding Mental Illness) is a programme that addresses the needs of primary school age children who have a family/whanau member with a mental illness. This can be undertaken as a group exercise, or parts can be used with individuals using activity-based exercises to aid in the understanding of mental illness in a fun appropriate way.

A referral can be made through our website either through an online form or via a downloadable PDF or by phone on 032181831; one of our Field Workers will be allocated the CUMI recipients.

Eating Disorders - Family Support Group

Is focused on providing support and information to people with a loved one suffering from an eating disorder.  

Coming together to discuss experiences, share ideas and develop strategies for coping, the Eating Disorder Group offers a way to connect with those dealing with similar issues.



 Wednesday 19 August 2020



Able Dunedin Office

5.30pm - 7.00pm


PH: 455 5973



(This group is not for the person suffering from the eating disorder, but their family/whanau.)

Education & Support meetings

able regularly organises speakers and discussion events on a range of mental health topics and issues for people who have a family member with mental illness.  These meetings also offer people a chance to share experiences and build support networks.

This informal group now meets monthly - separated into a "Support" month and an "Education" month.

Support Month is where a group of people who have a loved one with mental health issues can connect with others in a similar situation.  It will be an opportunity to give and receive peer support.

Education Month is where a speaker or discussion event is organised on a range of mental health topics.



12 November 2020 

No Speaker

Due to Covid 19 if you have been in contact with someone who has Covid, been travelling, are awaiting a Covid test result or are feeling unwell please stay at home. 

We will be physical distancing, following good hygiene protocols and contact tracing everyone who attends.



8 October 2020 

TOPIC: Addictions; alcohol, drugs and gambling

SPEAKER: Representative from the Salvation Army Oasis & Bridge Programmes


Able Dunedin Office

6.30pm - 8.30pm


Weekly Walking Group

An informal group for people of all ages, the Weekly Walking Group offers gentle exercise, friendship and conversation for those with a family member with mental illness.

Depending on where the waling group is heading they either leave from the able Dunedin office or meet at the venue.

Te Anau Support Group

Do you care for or assist a family member who is suffering from mental illness? 

You are not alone.


Would you like to:

* connect with others in a similar situation in a warm, confidential environment?

* Find out more about where to seek advice and support?

* Talk about what you are going through in a judgement-free space?


For more information contact Kathryn - 027 635 4033 or 



Tuesday 21 January 2020


Fiordland Community House, Meeting Room

21 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau


Share and Care Group

This group has been cancelled for March and April in response to the Able Pandemic Plan actioned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This will be reviewed at the beginning of April 2020.  We will keep you informed as new information comes to hand.


Share and Care group would like to extend a warm and welcoming invitation to join us once a month at Supporting Families. We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Community House, 46 Kelvin Street, Invercargill, with a shared lunch (finger food) starting at 12 o’clock. So the invitation is to come along, enjoy, relax and the opportunity to be part of an awesome group. 

Horizons - Alexandra

  • Group membership is open to any person who has experienced a mental health issue and is wanting to participate in activities that assist in improving self esteem and/or a greater level of independence.
  • Opportunities exist to develop a role and/or responsibilities within the group.
  • Referral to the group can be by Mental Health Services, PHO, General Practitioners, Social Service Agencies or self referral.

Seminars and Guest Speakers

These evenings offer an opportunity for families and those suffering from mental illness to find out what other people had experienced and the support they can receive.

Waves Programme - Gore

Waves is an 8-week programme that aims to support adults 18+ years old who have been bereaved by suicide.

The programme combines learning about suicide and bereavement with group discussion and support.  The group is facilitated by two trained facilitators and supports members to:

  • meet and share with others who are also experiencing the impact of suicide
  • provide a safe, supportive environment to explore aspects of their grief and reduce isolation and stigma associated with bereavement by suicide
  • gain information and strategies about how to care for themselves and others (including children and young people) after a suicide
  • adjust to living with loss and moving forward

Next scheduled programme to be held:


Starting Sunday 28 February 2021

Venue to be confirmed

To register contact Able Invercargill

Phone: 03 218 2100



Participants must commit to all 8 weeks of the programme