A man who was reunited with a ‘Good Samaritan’ who stopped him from jumping off a London bridge says “things can get better”.
In 2008 Jonny Benjamin was on Waterloo Bridge considering ending his life. But he was stopped by a stranger – Neil Laybourn – who listened to his problems.
Benjamin wants his story to “give hope to other people out there who may be struggling with mental illness”.
He had been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia and was considering killing himself until Laybourn noticed him sitting on the edge of the bridge and the pair talked.
They spoke until the police, who had been called by another bystander, took Benjamin away.
Later Benjamin’s health improved and he launched a social media campaign titled “findmike” as he didn’t know Laybourn’s name.
Days later, after the campaign had gone viral, Laybourn’s fiancée saw the message and her partner came forward.
Benjamin said he was “totally elated”.
“It means the world to me to finally have the opportunity to say thank you”, he added.
Today Benjamin is enjoying better health and he commented: “It’s as though I’ve come full circle and that chapter of my life has now closed.”
“I want everyone to know that you can recover and that things can get better.
“I also hope people will be inspired by what Neil did”, he said.
Laybourn – who has been called a Good Samaritan in the media – commented that he was very pleased to see how Benjamin was doing.
“When we met, it was clear how much that encounter on the bridge meant to Jonny, he told me it was a pivotal moment in his life – which was great to hear.
“I didn’t feel it was that big a deal, I did what anyone would do.”