Above: Jazz Thornton, founder of Voices of Hope.
For anyone with a friend or family member battling a mental illness, or anyone walking that road themselves, Jazz Thornton’s message at The Forest Hub this week will bring great hope.
Jazz is the founder of a suicide prevention organisation in New Zealand called Voices Of Hope, and is speaking all this week in Frenchs Forest, Sydney, and on Sunday at Forest Alliance Church, sharing her own story and giving practical hope around an often-taboo topic.
In her younger years, Jazz suffered sexual abuse, followed by severe depression, and survived 14 suicide attempts between the ages of 12 and 20.
She is known for a film she directed called Dear Suicidal Me, featuring real people reading out their own real suicide notes (including Jazz herself)—and then speaking messages of hope to their past selves; as well as a film called Jessica’s Tree, a documentary about her friend Jessica who sadly took her own life.
Jazz is also well known for a Facebook message she posted in 2018 that went viral, in which she thanked the police woman who saved her life after her final suicide attempt in 2015.
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Speaking Tour in Sydney
This week on June 26, 27 and 28, Jazz will be speaking around the topic of suicide, mental illness and hope, from 7:30pm each night, at The Forest Hub, on the corner of Forest Way and Naree Road, Frenchs Forest.
She will begin on Wednesday night with a talk for relatives and friends of those suffering mental illness, called “Fighting For Their Freedom”, to give practical tools on how to support those who are struggling. Thursday night’s talk is aimed at everyone and will focus on the topic of “Stop Surviving, Start Fighting”. Jazz will speak about the strategies that helped her to recover from suicidal thoughts and depression.
On Friday night, she will speak specifically to youth and address the topic of bullying and self belief, with a talk titled “I Am Change”.
Jazz is also giving talks in local schools, and will be guest speaker at Forest Alliance Church, part of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, on Sunday June 30, starting at 10am, where she will share about the role of her Christian faith in her recovery.
For more details about her talks in Sydney head to the Forest Hub website.
To learn more about Jazz Thornton head to the Voices of Hope website.
If you’re struggling or need someone to talk to, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.