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Auckland woman using 'caring' cop's heroic act to inspire others battling mental health issues

One police officer’s lifesaving act has been read thousands of times after the Auckland woman she saved posted an open letter to the officer nearly four years after attempting to take her own life.

On April 29, Jazz Thornton posted an image online of herself and Constable Meika Campbell, the woman who stopped her from committing suicide in 2015.

The post titled "dear the police officer who save my life" which was published a year after Ms Thornton first wrote a public message to the officer, has been shared over 12,000 times on Facebook.

The two women met in July 2015 after Ms Thornton called police telling them she was about to take her own life.

Speaking to 1 NEWS, Ms Thornton says it was coming home from a conference on that cold July night just a couple of weeks after a close friend took her own life, when something "snapped in her".

"I was like 'I can’t do this anymore. I’m done'."

Jumping out her bedroom window so two friends that were staying the night wouldn’t see her leave, Ms Thornton made her way down to a nearby park.

Once there, Ms Thornton made the call to the police.

"What I didn’t realise was that the police were super close. Police officer, Constable Meika Campbell…I just felt hands on my back and her and a colleague were holding me up."

The first time Ms Thornton tried to take her life she was 12.

She would try a further 14 times to take her life.

"It was attempt after attempt after attempt.

"There were a lot of things that lead to that moment. Back then it was very situational based. It was things that were happening.

"I was sexually abused as a three-year-old which really set me on a path of thinking that I didn’t realise till I was older."

She says as she grew older her suicide attempts became less about the abuse and more self-loathing.

"I genuinely believed that I was a burden to everyone around me, that I was unlovable, that the world would be better off without me and I whole heartedly believed that."

Life began to change for her on that July night when Constable Campbell found her.

"The thing that was so different about Constable Campbell…I knew from the moment I looked up from the police car and saw her crying…to see this complete stranger, who I’d never met before, crying because I’m crying…something really hit me, and I was like, 'If this stranger cares this much, then maybe, just maybe, I’m worth something'."

Waiting with her in the hospital, Constable Campbell put her mobile number into Ms Thornton’s phone, so they would keep in contact.

"She went above and beyond and would speak constantly into my future and she was like 'Jazz there’s so much hope'."

Constable Campbell told Ms Thornton she wanted to see her make her 21st birthday and when that day came she turned up to Ms Thornton's home to wish her happy birthday.

This year after turning 24, an age she never thought she would reach, Ms Thornton went to meet the woman who saved her life.

She decided to post the image along with the message she wrote to Constable Campbell a year ago.

"I’d seen eight different posts about police officers and they were all negative and I was like there’s a side to the police that people just don’t know.

"That night she physically saved my life and went above and beyond and to me that’s the definition of a hero."

Ms Thornton has since shared her story with thousands by speaking to schools, corporate events and recently in a documentary called Jessica’s Tree.

Source: TVNZ

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex came to New Zealand last year, she met the royal couple and spoke about her charity Voices of Hope and mental health issues.

In a statement released to media following the Facebook post, Constable Campbell says she’s been humbled by the response to the message from Ms Thornton.

"I have been following Jazz’s journey via her Facebook page, Voice of Hope, for some time," Constable Campbell wrote.

"I am overwhelmed by the impact she had made on the lives of so many others.

"Every time I see it I always have a big smile and a moment of proudness."

Ms Thornton says she wants to keep helping those with mental health issues.

"I said to her every single life that I now get to save is a direct result of you stepping in for me that night and that’s the truth.

"I wouldn’t be doing anything that I am if it wasn’t for her. I messaged her on Facebook and said 'I just have to tell you thank you so much. You once told me that my story could potentially change the world and now it is'."

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Jazz Thornton has dedicated her life to helping others after police officer Meika Campbell’s lifesaving act. Source: 1 NEWS