Suicidal woman left on hold by Lifeline for 57 minutes

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.

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."

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