A police officer credited with saving a young woman as she tried to take her own life says helping people in trouble is why she joined the Force.
On Sunday the Herald shared the moving story of Jazz Thornton's attempt to end her life when she was 19.
In a piece posted to the Voices of Hope Facebook page, Thornton said she had concocted the "perfect plan" and was determined to carry it through. Now 23, the Auckland woman revealed how her deadly plan failed, and the police officer who went above and beyond the call of duty to save her.
That officer was Constable Meika Campbell.
Today Campbell shared her side of the story.
MYname is Constable Meika Campbell, I have been working for the New Zealand Police for four years.
I was extremely moved by Jazz Thornton's article about her personal struggles with depression.
I feel privileged and honoured that her story was told and commend her for openly sharing her demons to make a difference.
Jazz is an inspiration and has gone on to help so many of those within our communities battling depression.
I can't take all the accolades for that evening, it was a team effort.
Constable Corey Foster located Jazz and the hands she felt first were his.
Constable Ian Drake and I assisted in the rescue.
We all held her tight, pulling her to our car while she resisted by kicking and screaming, hating us for the fact that she was found.
She told me this when I was holding her tight in the back of the police car. She was inconsolable.
Unfortunately, this is one of many attempted self-harm incidents our police attend every year.
Jazz's story will have seen many police officers throughout New Zealand reflect on their experiences in dealing with these types of jobs.
Police officers are real people, with feelings and emotions just like you, and we do not switch them off when we begin our shift.
I have recently become a mother and I can only hope that in the future, should my daughter ever need help, there will be someone as eager to go above and beyond to keep her in this world with me.
For police staff, getting feedback like that Jazz gave us is like receiving a bonus but, unlike a bonus, it lasts a lot longer with an unmeasurable amount of job satisfaction when we hear that we have impacted a person's life.
This is after all, why we got into this job, to help people and keep them safe.
Finally, I hope that anyone out there who has ever thought about becoming a police officer really considers joining.
It truly is the most rewarding job that allows you to make a real difference in our community.
A few months after Thornton's attempt to take her life she and friend Genevieve Mora launched non-profit movement Voices of Hope.
The company is dedicated to presenting hope for people struggling with mental illness and other related daily struggles.
To find out more visit the Voice of Hope Facebook page.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Samaritans: 0800 726 666
• If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.