A Message to Anyone Struggling With Depression or Suicidal Thoughts, From Jazz Thornton

That was the very first video that I did
for voices of hope and it now has over 80 million views. So it went
International. We get hundreds of thousands of messages from people. I
think one of my favorites is it was from a mother in Canada and she emailed us
and she was like “I’ve been trying to …email you for a couple of weeks,
I haven’t known how to say it, but my 15 year old daughter she had decided that
she was going to take her life, she had written her a suicide note, got…
her method ready and then she just jumped on social media to message
her best friend goodbye. At the top of her newsfeed was your video ‘Dear Suicidal Me’,
and so she watched it, and as she watched it she realised that she didn’t want to
take her life anymore. So she ran into my room, suicide note in hand, and sure
enough everything was set up in her room. So you know, saying “thank you so much,
my daughter’s still alive now because of that, and that’s one of thousands of
messages like that that we’ve heard from from that video and kind of everything
else that we’ve been able to create within films for the Voices of Hope. The first thing that I would say is that
“hope” is not just a word that we say, that hope has never lost, but sometimes our
situations can stop us from seeing it. What I discovered was that
it’s not about battling your past but fighting for your future. We’ve been so
long battling the things that have happened to us and battling the
things that we’ve done but that really doesn’t get us anywhere except in circles.
And it’s only when we choose to look at the future, even if it’s one day
ahead, even if it’s one week ahead, and decide to fight for that, knowing
that you are so worth it, that you’re not what your mind is
telling you, that you’re not a burden, you’re not unlovable, you don’t deserve
to be punished, whatever it is that your mind is telling you is not true. If you were to tell the girl that was once sitting
in the psych ward in the intensive care unit that one day this would be what I
was doing, I would have laughed at you. And the crazy thing is, there was a guy,
him and his wife have pretty much become my parents, Wayne and Libby. And Wayne was
sitting with me in the intensive care unit after that final suicide attempt,
and I was like, you know, I was on medication and like I was really out of
it and he just goes “Jazz I think one day your story might change the world”, and I
was like “yeah whatever, like I’m in a psych ward, I don’t think so, I’m not even
gonna be alive next year.” But he saw it before I could, and now to kind of, you
know, I take – sometimes I literally just have to sit back and look at everything
that’s happened, because everything’s going so fast now, which is amazing, but
to remember where I was, is so humbling. Because I now get to just represent
hope in everything that I do, and if I can do it, if the girl from the
pysch ward can do it, then so can you.

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