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Thousands Unite In Selfie Campaign For World Suicide Prevention Day

Today kiwi celebrities and young people will use a simple #HandOverHeart selfie to share a powerful message for World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept 10.

Organised by youth issues project Live For Tomorrow (of the youth organisation Zeal), the #HandOverHeart selfie encourages people: “Put your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason. Don’t give up.”

Participants are also encouraged to tag someone they’ll always be there for.

The initiative is a part of the 10 Day Photo Challenge which, over the last ten days, has seen over 5,000 life-affirming photos posted by over one thousand people, reaching over 1.5 million feeds. Each day participants follow a prompt such as “Someone who means a lot to you” or “Advice you’d give your younger self”.

Challenge organisers have received countless stories of those that have lost loved ones to suicide, or have struggled themselves.

“Suicide and mental health is something that is often really hard to talk about,” says Zeal Advocacy Manager, Elliot Taylor. “Last year thousands posted photos with their hand over their heart, sharing the message that we all have purpose. This year we expect to see even more.”

The project has been created in partnership with young people from Zeal’s West Auckland facility.

Zeal intern, Beth Humphrey (18) says of her involvement:

“It’s been such an amazing feeling to know that I have been a part of something that has really affected people’s lives. We have heard some beautiful stories of young people overcoming their hardships and that’s more than that I could have ever hoped for.”

A website has been created at zeal.nz/handoverheart, which collages all #HandOverHeart participant’s photos.