Jazz Thornton’s voice advocates for mental health

Jazz Thornton uses her platforms to help fight suicide rates and advocate for mental health awareness


Aspen Bingham

Jazz Thornton wrote a book with the title “Stop Surviving and Start Fighting”.

The following contains discussion of abuse, sexual assault, self harm, and suicidal ideation and behavior. Reader discretion is strongly advised.

After abuse, sexual assault, mental illness, and 14 suicide attempts, Jazz Thornton decided to “stop surviving and start fighting.”

Thornton is a New Zealand TikTok influencer, mental health activist, and author. She has dedicated her life to advocating change for mental health awareness and resources through her organization, Voices of Hope.

Thornton can be overlooked and unrecognized for the dedication she has put into the mental health community, but her voice and impact is strong.

Thornton went through many obstacles growing up that helped shape her.

As a teenager, Thornton’s mental health spiraled. She told New Zealand’s Daily Mail that persistent bullying at school and years of sexual assault is what contributed to her downward spiral.

As she fell into a depression, she began having a hard time seeing the point in anything. At the ripe age of 12, she attempted suicide for the first time. This was only the beginning.

At first, Thornton had a hard time reaching out for help — she was afraid her friends would “get up and leave her.” Thornton said, “Every time I trusted them a little bit more put me at more risk of being hurt.”

Thornton overcame her fear and, after contemplating ending her life, she reached out to her closest friends for help. Reaching out for help was hard, but it saved her and allowed her to live a life of being a light and support for others.

Thornton eventually enrolled in South Seas Film and Television School to learn how to tell the stories of people like her. Shortly after graduating, she made her first film, Dear Suicidal Me, which features suicide survivors reading their suicide notes then reading the countless reasons they are grateful to still be alive. The film had more than 80 million views in the first 48 hours after it was posted online.

Even through her hardships, Thornton has bettered herself and become a light in a community that needs people like her. She has dedicated herself to hope and being the change. She has done this through various platforms and Voices of Hope.

Thronton often spends her time on her platforms celebrating peoples “self harm milestones” with them.

Her positivity is contagious and gives hope to those in dark places. Thornton lives by this montra: “Your words have the ability to be part of changing someone’s world, for worse or for better — use them wisely.”

Thornton went from a teen who didn’t her purpose to an empowered young woman. She has dedicated so much time to being a part of people’s lives, to be the person she wished she had when struggling.

Thornton’s voice is a light to the world. When people see someone who was once a fragile teenager and has now blossomed into an inspiration, it gives perspective and a light at the end of the tunnel.