TODAY |

Kiwi mental health advocate makes suicide a global conversation at United Nations campaign


Jazz Thornton has long campaigned for mental health awareness in New Zealand - now the United Nations is calling for her help.

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The campaign calls for countries to start taking government action with Kiwi actress Jazz Thornton to co-host the launch. Source: 1 NEWS

The charity, United for Global Mental Health, is about to launch its first ever 'Speak Your Mind' campaign.

The 24 year old is co-hosting the launch in New York in a couple of weeks which is calling for countries to start taking government action.

"Every 40 seconds someone around the world dies by suicide so we're encouraging people all around the world to record themselves talking for 40 seconds about what they want their leaders to do."

For the last couple of months Ms Thornton has spent time looking at the ways other countries are tackling the issue.

She says some places she visited were shocking.

"I was just so heartbroken, I was in Indonesia recently for a meeting before this campaign launched and I learnt that over there people are still shackled to concrete slabs if they have mental health issues and when I looked at that, and looked at this country I was so incredibly thankful and so hope-filled that we've actually got the funding to get better," she told 1 NEWS.

It's been a long journey for Ms Thornton, she first tried to take her life at 12. After that, an unthinkable 13 more attempts were made.

In the last few years she turned her life around and made it her goal to start a global conversation.

Source: TVNZ

While she'll be spending a lot of time overseas over the next couple of years, she says making a difference in New Zealand will remain her priority.