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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Finding Mike: man searching for stranger who stopped him jumping off bridge

Jonny Benjamin is searching for the man who saved his life

Kashmira Gander

Published 15/01/2014 | 11:06

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Jonny Benjamin

A MAN has launched a campaign to find the stranger who persuaded him not to take his life by jumping off a bridge six years ago.

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Jonny Benjamin tried to jump into the River Thames from London's Waterloo Bridge on 14 January 2008, because he was struggling to cope with schizoaffective disorder.

Mr Benjamin told the Metro newspaper that the man very calmly 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."

"He reminded me of what people do every day so the normality of it was really inviting," Mr Benjamin recalled.

With help from the stranger, Mr Benjamin changed his mind and climbed down from the railings, where he was helped by police officers.

Now a mental health campaigner, Mr Benjamin told the newspaper that he is desperate to find the man who saved him that day.

“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 told the Metro.

Mr Benjamin said he does not know the man’s name because he was extremely distressed at the time, but that he looked like he was in his early twenties in 2008, and was on his way to work that day.

He has named the campaign ‘Finding Mike’ and hopes to track down the Good Samaritan with help from the charity Rethink Mental Illness.

A film depicting his recovery is due for release in April, with Facebook and Twitter pages set up to spread the world in the meantime.

Those with information have been asked to message the Finding Mike Campaign social media pages, or email: findmike@rethink.org.

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