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William and Kate to meet campaigner for mental health who was saved from suicide

Published 04/03/2016

Mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, who was saved from suicide, is to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, who was saved from suicide, is to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to meet a mental health campaigner and the man who saved him from taking his own life when they champion efforts to prevent suicide.

Jonny Benjamin started the #FindMike search in 2014 to find the unknown passer-by who stopped him leaping to his death from Waterloo Bridge in central London six years earlier.

Mr Benjamin, then 20, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and said he felt his life had hit "rock bottom'' before the kindly intervention of a stranger, later identified as Neil Laybourn when the search went viral.

William and Kate have been promoting mental health issues for some time and on March 10 will carry out private and public engagements to highlight the help available for those who threaten to take their own lives.

The royal couple will chat to the two men at London's St Thomas' Hospital where Mr Benjamin was treated after he threatened to take his own life.

A documentary has been made about his experiences and the #FindMike campaign and he regularly attends screenings of the film with young people as a way to encourage open discussions about mental health issues.

Later at Kensington Palace, the Cambridges will join 20 young people to watch the documentary, and the campaigner and his saviour will lead a discussion.

Following the session, William and Kate will join a private meeting with a group bereaved in various ways by suicide, to discuss their experiences and the support they have received since.

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