Jazz Thornton's emotional story on depression, helping others

Weekend Life 22/07/2018
Photo credit: Facebook.

New Zealand has a horrific track record in suicides – the worst in the developed world.

The statistics show we are twice as high than the United States and five times higher than the United Kingdom, with ten attempts made every day.

Co-founder and director of Voices of Hope, Jazz Thornton joined Trudi Nelson to share her personal story, talk about our terrible suicide statistics and explain how her documentary will support and help people going through a tough time.

At only age three, Ms Thornton was sexually abused, and first tried to take her life when she was just 12 years old.

I just wanted the pain to stop.

After receiving advice, Ms Thornton decided to fight rather than just survive, and has now created a place to provide hope for those struggling with mental health issues.

Voices of Hope promotes mental well-being, empowerment and recovery, Ms Thorton told RadioLIVE's Weekend Life that “people have seen hope in a way they’ve never seen it before”.

Mark Richardson said on The AM Show this week that kids just need to “harden up” - a phrase which Ms Thornton doesn't agree with, as it refers to the old school ‘Kiwi’ attitude which can prevent people from speaking up.

Ms Thornton's research shows 75 percent of New Zealand suicide rates are actually middle aged men - which people seem to forget, instead focusing on the youth rates.

Following her own experience, Ms Thornton is directing a documentary film titled “The Silence Film” which will debut in 2019, which follows her journey and provides hope and support to others.

She suggests surrounding yourself with good people, and lives by the quote “it's not about battling your past but fighting for your future”.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354, the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0508 828 865, Healthline on 0800 611 116 or Youthline at 0800 376 633.

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Listen to the interview with Jazz Thornton above.

Weekend Life with Trudi Nelson, 10am-2pm Sunday on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.