Xmas in hospital for 'suicidal' man
A mental health campaigner whose own battles with depression saw him launch an international search for the man who saved his life is being admitted to hospital after having suicidal thoughts.
Jonny Benjamin started the #FindMike search earlier this year, intent on finding the unknown passer-by who stopped him leaping to his death from Waterloo Bridge in central London six years earlier.
Mr Benjamin, then aged 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.
However, Mr Benjamin has since announced he will be returning to hospital for Christmas after his illness worsened.
In a YouTube post last night, he said: "I've been making plans for my suicide and as a result I am going back into hospital.
"I'm really not doing very well.
"Just when I think I can't get any worse, it somehow seems to.
"I really am at rock bottom and I see my suicide as the only escape from it.
"I can't be around anyone any more. When I am, I am shaking, trembling ... even around the people that I love.
"That's how bad the anxiety's got - I can't even be around the people that I love and so I see my only way out of that is to take my life because I don't think I'm going to get better.
"I absolutely cannot stand myself, being in my skin, doing this - hearing my voice. I hate, hate myself. How do you recover from that? I don't know if I can.
"So, yeah - I'm going into hospital. I don't want to go - I desperately don't want to go, but I don't have a choice."
In a tweet from his @MrJonnyBenjamin account, the campaigner and film-maker wrote: "Thank-you for tweets -feel v touched by support."
Ged Flynn, chief executive of the young suicide prevention charity Papyrus, praised Mr Benjamin for talking publicly about his battle.
He said: "We encourage anyone thinking of suicide to reach out and tell people how they are feeling, which Jonny Benjamin is clearly doing on his YouTube message.
"When you feel there is nothing left in life you can't see the future and suicide is seen as the only way out. Sometimes we need help to see that there is hope but it can take time to fully recover.
"By, albeit reluctantly, agreeing to return to the safe hospital environment, deep down Jonny is asking for help and offering others the opportunity to guide him through these darkest times.
"It is never too late. Anyone with suicidal thoughts must tell people how they feel. There is always hope."
:: Papyrus offers a confidential HOPELineUK service, available on 0800 068 41 41, through text on 07786 209 697, and email on firstname.lastname@example.org.