Meeting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won't just be a thrill but an opportunity for online sensation and suicide awareness campaigner Jazz Thornton.

"I am very excited. I'm trying to remember they're just people but it's an incredible opportunity talk to royalty about what we are doing to impact mental health in this country," Thornton said.

Thornton, with co-founder Genevieve Mora, started the Voice of Hope website which produces videos giving advice on how others could manage mental health issues.

Thornton and Mora will be one of a few people invited to meet and speak to the royal couple at a Wellington event promoting youth mental health awareness on October 29. The time, location and name of the event has not been released for security reasons.

Meghan and Harry visit New Zealand at the end of this month.
Meghan and Harry visit New Zealand at the end of this month.

Thornton, who has attempted suicide 14 times in her younger years, said to hear royals talk about their own issues with mental health will be valuable to sufferers.


"Prince Harry is someone who is seen to be on a pedestal and for him to go up and say 'I've actually dealt with mental health issues, its not something to be ashamed about', will let millions of young and old people around the world know they are not alone.

"What he's doing is showing that mental health doesn't discriminate."

She said it was a good opportunity to discuss New Zealand's mental health system and what can be done to improve it.

"It's very public that we've got the highest suicide rate in the world but what is really good is while it's tragically high and there are systems that are broken, we have now decided as a country to have the conversations that matter.

"It's taken us a while but now things are moving forward which is really exciting."

Thornton said her experience with social media gave her a different perspective on how New Zealand youth deal with mental health problems.

"The majority of messages that come in to us from people saying that something has saved their lives is they've been in the darkness of their room and they are scrolling social media just mindlessly planning on taking their life.

"Social media can be a terrible thing, but if we can activate it for a great purpose, it can save a lot of lives without us being in the room with them."

Thornton said the mental health stigmas about how issues were attention-seeking and a waste of resources needed to change.

"Breaking the stigma and changing people's mind around the area of mental health is essential to enable the conversations to happen a lot earlier before the crisis actually hits."

The royal couple will be coming to New Zealand on October 28 until November 1 visiting places including Wellington, Abel Tasman National Park, Auckland and Rotorua.

Royal itinerary

October 28

Welcome at Government House
Wreath-laying ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park
Reception hosted by the Governor-General

October 29
Visit Maranui Cafe at Lyall Bay
Travel to Abel Tasman National Park
Beach barbeque with school children
Return to Wellington for an encounter with young people

October 30
Travel to Redvale on Auckland's North Shore
Join children in a gumboot throwing contest
Visit Pillars, which supports children with a parent in prison
Wander around Viaduct Harbour
Reception hosted by the Prime Minister

October 31
Visit Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua
Check out Rainbow Springs
Public meet and greet Rotorua Government Gardens
Visit Redwoods Treewalk
Return to Auckland

November 1

Best places for a glimpse
Auckland's Viaduct Harbour on the afternoon of October 30
Rotorua's Government Gardens on the afternoon of October 31