Warning: This article discusses suicide.
Standing on the edge of a cliff, Jazz Thornton was ready to end her life.
Like many in her position, she had one last string of hope. So she called Lifeline, which put her on hold for 57 minutes.
Thankfully she's still here today, and spoke to The AM Show about what happened and why our national helpline isn't doing enough.
- Mike King explains why mental illness is hard to see
- World Suicide Prevention Day: Call for regular mental health check-ups
- Real suicides figure is double what's reported
In response, Lifeline apologised to Thornton and said it will continue to improve the way it helps New Zealanders in crisis.
"Lifeline Aotearoa is genuinely upset that we were not available to Jazz to assist her. We apologise unreservedly to Jazz and to anyone who has had to wait too long to get the help they need and deserve," it said in a statement.
"Mental health helplines globally are experiencing unprecedented call volumes. Lifeline is no exception. Our staff and volunteers are great people; motivated and dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to save lives but we don’t always get it right. Lifeline is grateful to Jazz for reminding us that we need to do better."
Where to find help and support:
Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)