Finding 'Mike': Man thanks stranger who saved him from suicide

Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn Credit: Daybreak

A man's search for a stranger who persuaded him not to kill himself has reached a happy end after the good Samaritan's fiancee spotted the appeal on Facebook.

Six years ago, Jonny Benjamin, then 20, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and, feeling unable to cope with his condition, he decided to take his own life by jumping off London's Waterloo Bridge.

He was spotted by a passer-by, who managed to talk him down.

Benjamin never forgot the man and recently launched an appeal with Rethink Mental Illness to find him and say thank-you for stopping and saving his life.

Calling the stranger 'Mike', he publicised his appeal on Facebook and Twitter and in TV and radio interviews.

The campaign went viral, with the Twitter hashtag #findmike trending in Canada, South Africa and Australia, as well as the UK - where the stranger's fiancee recognised the story and realised Benjamin was looking for her partner, Neil Laybourn..

Laybourn, a personal trainer from Surrey, said: "I didn’t feel it was that big a deal, I did what anyone would do. I wasn’t trying to fix his problems that day, I just listened."

Watch Rethink Mental Illness video of the moment the pair were reunited:

Speaking on Daybreak, Benjamin told Laybourn: "Just - thank-you. You didn't need to stop that day - it was the kindness and compassion as well. He was determined not to let me jump."

Laybourn, 31, said: "I'm just thankful that I was able to say the right things and I'm sure there would have been other people to do that as well so it's a bit of luck and fate."