Two heroic members of the public have managed to convince a suicidal man not to jump from a London bridge.
Earlier this morning a distressed individual climbed the guardrail at Blackfriars Bridge in London and sat on a small ledge on the side of the bridge.
As river police assembled at the base of the bridge directly under the troubled individual a good Samaritan walked by and spotted the man, grabbing him and reassuring him that everything would be all right.
Not long after another well-meaning member of the public also saw the dramatic scene and joined the first passer-by. He took the troubled individual by the arm and did his best to calm him.
As two police officers arrived at the bridge the man agreed to climb back to safety and with the help of the two heroes and officers. he was hauled to the other side of the guardrail.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for men below 40 with a reported 1,600 young people take their own lives every year in the UK.
Lots of mental health experts believe these statistics could be massively diminished by eradicating the stigma surrounding mental health, including Jonny Benjamin a mental health crisis survivor.
In 2008 Jonny made the decision to take his own life and travelled to London with the intention of jumping off Waterloo Bridge.
Walked past Blackfriars Bridge as a man went over the railing to jump. Passerbys grabbed him. Team of police & regular folks talked him back. We’re now @NationalTheatre drag show arts fest. In the shadow of despair, Trump’s visit, Brexit, still joy love creativity. ?️? ❤️?
— Robin DeRosa (@actualham) July 15, 2018
As he climbed over the railings though he was confronted by Neil Laybourn.
Neil asked Johnny: ‘Why are you sitting on the bridge?’ Jonny was hesitant to engage in conversation, telling him, ‘Don’t come so close’ over and over again.
Eventually, Jonny told Neil how he was feeling and in nine simple words Neil saved Jonny’s life. He said: ‘I really believe you’re going to get better, mate.’
Jonny’s now an award-winning mental health campaigner who wants to educate people on suicide and mental health.
He told UNILAD:
It needs to start with education. The younger we tackle it, the easier it will be. My big thing is to get it into schools, get it embedded into the curriculum.
I don’t understand why we don’t talk about mental health the same as we talk about other subjects in school. History, English. You know, we study Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet kill themselves.
We have PE, why is there no focus on mental health education? It’s just as important as your physical well-being.
I go into schools a lot and young people want to understand. They know it’s important.
We teach young people about looking after their physical bodies but there’s nothing about mental health. And they want to learn it, how to manage their stress, anger, and self-confidence.
If you’ve struggled with any of the issues in this story can speak to someone confidentially about your mental health and wellbeing by calling one of the following numbers: Samaritans – 116 123 , Childline – 0800 1111 (UK) / 1800 66 66 66 (ROI), Teenline – 1800 833 634 (ROI).
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.