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Genevieve Mora: Voices of Hope: Westfield Local Heroes 2019

Sharing her own vulnerability to help others

Passionate. Visionary. Selfless

From her childhood, Genevieve Mora wrestled with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). She would wash her hands until they bled, and lived in thrall to the number four – turning pages or doorknobs four times over, believing that if she did not, she would die.

After OCD began to dominate her eating habits, she developed life-threatening anorexia.

Today, in her mid-20s, Genevieve helps others to open up about mental illnesses that still carry a stigma. “In my case, OCD, anorexia and anxiety all worked together,” she says. “If sharing my story and vulnerability can help make someone else's journey easier, then my years of fighting my own mind were so worth it.”

In 2017, Genevieve founded Voices of Hope with Jazz Thornton, an equally outspoken survivor of mental illness. Together Genevieve and Jazz made and launched a short film, “Dear Suicidal Me”, that went viral and gathered worldwide media attention.

Besides continuing to produce internet videos that tell healing stories to an international audience, Voices of Hope works within the Auckland community to promote mental well-being, empowerment and recovery.

Genevieve and Jazz have also spoken at schools, corporate events and workshops across New Zealand, Australia and the US.

“It’s an incredible honour to be voted a Local Hero,” says Genevieve.

“Auckland is our home, and to be recognised by our community for the work we do at Voices of Hope means more than we can actually explain.”

“There’s a saying I love about the importance of community,” she adds, “and it’s simply, ‘We are stronger together’."

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Voices of Hope will use its grant to scale up its production of healing videos.

“A huge part of what we do is make hope-filled video content,” says Genevieve. “The videos have been proven to give strength to people who are struggling to hold on any longer. With the grant, we can create more content for saving lives in our community and beyond.”

__For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here. __

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