Jonny Benjamin

Jonny Benjamin

A man has launched a search for a good samaritan who saved his life following an attempted suicide attempt.

Jonny Benjamin had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and was struggling to cope when he attempted to jump off of London’s Waterloo Bridge six years ago.

The hero, known only as ‘Mike’ had been walking past, when he spotted Benjamin attempting to commit suicide.

The man managed to convince Jonny not to commit suicide, resulting in Jonny changing his mind, and climbing back over the railings.

Jonny told reporters: “He was very calm and said ‘Please don’t do this, I’ve been where you are and you can get better. Let’s have a coffee and we can talk about this.”

Since the incident, Jonny has turned his life around and is now a mental health campaigner, but he is desperate to find the man who helped to save his life.

Jonny added: “He reminded me of what people do every day so the normality of it was really inviting. His act of kindness changed my outlook on life and I have thought about him ever since. I want to find this man so I can thank him for what he did. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Jonny doesn’t know the man’s name, but has dubbed his campaign ‘Finding Mike’ and says the stranger looked to be in his early twenties at the time.

He has been backed by mental health charity Rethink, and his campaign is gathering pace. He is now making a film to spread the message of recovery, which is due to be released in April.

In an interview with the Metro, Jonny added: “I have schizophrenia and it’s taken some time to get to a place where I feel better and I can manage my mental illness. The last few years have been tough and it’s been hard to talk because of the stigma.

“I’m trying to spread the message of hope and recovery, but I had to wait until I was better enough to do that and in a place where I could talk about it. I also don’t think I would have had the confidence to do it on my own, so I needed Rethink Mental Illness’ support.”

He explained that a number of people have already contacted him with possible information about how he may be able to reunite with the man.

But he added: “If he doesn’t want to be found, that’s completely fine. At least I’ve had my opportunity to say thank you. And it’s not just about finding Mike, it’s about the wider message of raising awareness about suicide – which is the biggest killer of young men in this country.

“The fact that it’s got people talking about mental health and recovery as well, is fantastic. You can recover from any sort of adversity in life. A lot of people think that people with schizophrenia are violent and dangerous, so hopefully I’m challenging that perception.”

In a video, Jonny added that the kind passerby was the first person to give him hope and actually helped to prompt his recovery.

If you have been affected by any of the issues highlighted in this story, call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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