A man who was talked around from a suicide attempt, and ran the London Marathon with the person who saved him, continues to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Back in 2008, Jonny Benjamin was considering jumping from the bridge when a stranger, Neil Laybourn, saw what was happening and went over to talk to him, promising him that 'things would get better' and eventually talking him back to safety.

Eight years later, Jonny began a social media campaign to 'Find Mike', the nickname he had given to the man who saved his life. The campaign went viral and it wasn't long before the pair were reunited.

Since then the pair have become friends and often campaign together to help raise money and awareness of mental health issues.

The two men ran 26.2 miles together and crossed the finish line on April 24, and raised almost £50,000 for the mental health charity Heads Together.

Thirty-year-old Jonny and Neil, 34, were two of a number of runners invited by Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry to take on the challenge for this cause. Neither of them had run a marathon before.

Credit: PA

Jonny, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder ten years ago, told the Telegraph before the run: "It's going to be emotional, very emotional.

"But we're all in it together and I'm excited to be a part of it - it's a privilege."

He added: "The last week has been phenomenal, the way that people are talking about it. Everyone's talking about it, it's amazing and to be part of it is a real privilege.

"I hid what was going on from my family and friends, and I think if these conversations had been the norm back then I would have been more open for sure."

Remembering the day the pair met, Neil told the paper: "When I walked past Jonny that day on the bridge, there was a fraction of anything about mental health in the media.

"Now, there is an article in the newspaper every single day. It's like an awakening at the moment, and it's so great to see that.

"Being part of Heads Together with Jonny, it's a really nice time of our lives together where we can try and push that message out there."

If you're struggling, get in touch with The CALMzone, which offers amazing support to anyone when things get tough.

The helpline and web chat service are open 5pm to midnight, every day of the year. Nationwide: 0800 58 58 58; London: 0808 802 58; Webchat: www.thecalmzone.net/get-help.

You can contact the Samaritans on a Freephone number - 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected]

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@MrJonnyBenjamin

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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