How do we talk about suicide? How do we encourage young people to open up about their mental health?

As part of Mental Health Week (Oct 10-17), a new documentary ‘The Girl On The Bridge’ will grace Australian screens, wading headfirst into that important conversation.

The film features twenty-two year old Jazz Thornton, who survived multiple suicide attempts and is now taking on a system she believes is failing her generation, including founding her own charity to support young people struggling as she once did.

‘The Girl On The Bridge’ will release for the first time in Australia from October 10 to coincide with Mental Health Week (October 10-17). The film will be available to watch online and in select cinemas nationally, and offers a unique ‘way in’ for businesses, communities and organisations who wish to have a sensitive discussion about mental health or connect with the struggles of younger people but are unsure how.

Synopsis: The Girl On The Bridge, directed by award winning New Zealand filmmaker Leanne Pooley is a glimpse into a world few of us comprehend. This documentary is a response to our collective anguish about the suicide crisis in our communities and our desire to “do something”. Twenty-two year old Jazz Thornton survived multiple suicide attempts and is now taking on a system she believes is failing her generation, founding her own charity to support young people struggling as she once did. Shot over a two year period, The Girl On The Bridge follows Jazz as she increasingly finds herself the face of the suicide epidemic unfolding around her. Young people and their families turn to her in desperation asking her to “save” them. She juggles the pressure of their expectations while doing all she can to change the societal prejudices that helped create the problem in the first place. This is a film about hope. It’s a film about redemption. The Girl On The Bridge is a challenge to all of us to try to understand.

The girl on the bridge is me. I was once attempting to take my life. But now I’m trying to build a bridge between the experience of people who are suffering and the understanding of those around them… Having people who know what you are going through and who are willing to be there for you is key. So, if we can understand what someone needs when they’re struggling, then we will feel so much more confident and willing to reach out and help. And that’ll make a difference. It’s something we can all do.” —Jazz Thornton