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Man who attempted suicide launches viral campaign to find stranger who gave him hope

Jonny Benjamin is searching for the man who approached him as he tried to take his own life.

Jonny Benjamin speaking about his campaign Source: YouTube

A MENTAL HEALTH campaigner who attempted suicide has begun an online hunt for the stranger who approached him and gave him hope that day.

Six years ago, Jonny Benjamin walked to London’s Waterloo Bridge in distress and tried to take his own life. However, a young man on his way to work stopped, spoke to him and offered to buy him coffee.

Source: Twitter/ZaaaaraT

Now, Jonny hopes that a viral campaign – which he is calling #findmike, although he never learned the stranger’s name – will allow him to thank the man in person as well as raise awareness of the issues surrounding suicide.

The #findmike hashtag began trending on Twitter this week, and Jonny has since appeared on BBC and ITV to discuss his campaign.

Describing that day in 2008, Jonny says:

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.’ 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.

He is asking people to help by sharing his story on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #findmike, visit the campaign website or email findmike@rethink.org if they think they might be able to help.

Jonny has said the support he’s received so far has been “overwhelming”.

To find out more or watch Jonny’s appeal video, click here.

Helplines:

  • Samaritans 1850 60 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634
  • Console 1800 201 890
  • Aware 1890 303 302
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66

Samaritans received more than 10,000 calls over Christmas>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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