Australian of the Year
After losing her stepfather to suicide, Ashlee Harrison was driven to establish zero2hero, an organisation committed to suicide and mental illness prevention. Ashlee’s first goal for zero2hero was to raise awareness of the fact that suicide is the leading cause of death of people under the age of 44. In 2012, her focus shifted to intervention, and Ashlee began working with high school students.
Today, Ashlee drives an ambitious program of events and activities that encourage young people to speak out about mental health. Events such as zero2hero day and youth leadership camps equip school-aged children and teenagers with the skills to speak up when they are struggling and the confidence to support their friends when they may be experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, bullying,
self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
In 2013, zero2hero day reached 4,000 students across Western Australia. Ashlee believes that, through open and honest conversation, suicide can be prevented – and she’s determined to keep the lines of communication open.