UK

#FindMike: Royals meet mental health campaigners

William and Kate Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The Cambridges heard about what support is available on mental health issues

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have sought to highlight the issues of mental health and suicide by meeting a man whose life was saved by a passer-by.

In a visit to St Thomas' Hospital in central London, the couple met Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn - the stranger who persuaded him not to jump off Waterloo Bridge in 2008.

The men were reunited six years later when Mr Benjamin started a Twitter campaign to trace him.

The 26-year-old is now a campaigner.

An emotional Mr Benjamin told Prince William and his wife how his psychological problems began at an early age with hearing voices, and when he turned 16 he started struggling with depression.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The royals met Jonny Benjamin (middle) and Neil Laybourn on their visit to St Thomas' Hospital
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The young men are now good friends
Image copyright PA
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge listens to an ex-patient discussing mental health issues

He was diagnosed with a combined schizophrenia and bipolar condition and had hit "rock bottom" at the time of the incident on Waterloo Bridge.

Mr Laybourn described how he was walking to work when he spotted Mr Benjamin - now his good friend - wearing just a T-shirt and trousers on a freezing winter day perched on the side of the bridge.

"It was a real snap decision, all the time I was walking up to Jonny I was thinking, 'Why was he there, should I talk to him or not?', he told the duke and duchess.

"I just felt he needed help."

The Cambridges were at the NHS hospital - where Mr Benjamin was treated after the bridge incident - to hear about support services for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Mr Benjamin tracked down his saviour in 2014 after he launched a campaign using the hashtag #FindMike search.

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