Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies
In our series Christmas Angels, ITV News is sharing stories about people who are dedicating themselves to helping others this festive period.
A former soldier struggling with PTSD didn’t expect to see this Christmas – and credits fellow veterans at a small charity for saving his life.
Matt Cole, who toured Northern Ireland as a soldier, said he has attempted suicide once and come close to it on several other occasions.
It all began five years after leaving the army but, thanks to All Call Signs, it hasn’t ended for him the way it has for so many other comrades with similar struggles.
“If it wasn't for them I have no doubt whatsoever I wouldn't be here,” Mr Cole told ITV News.
“I find myself just breaking down in tears more often than not; for no apparent reason just wanting to cry and disappear and crawl up into a ball and just not exist.”
Mr Cole was brought back from the brink by the charity, who he says would refuse to leave him alone and abandon him.
The charity can mobilise hundreds of volunteers to search for a veteran reported by family as vulnerable and missing.
Through social media they additionally reach hundreds of thousands in the former military community.
In their first 18 months, they report 79 successful interventions.
“You know, if I'm honest with you they just nagged, they just wouldn't shut up,” Mr Cole said.
“But then you have to talk to me… and what was actually going to help.”
Daniel Arnold, of All Call Signs, said: "That's 79 individuals that are at home and getting mental health support and treatment that may not have been before the conception of what we've done."
Mr Cole is just one they've helped.
Telling his story is still painful for him but he wants others to hear it.
“If this [his story] going out just makes one person reach out and talk... then it's worth it,” he said.
“I am breathing still. I've got a roof over my head and I'm still breathing and there are so many that don't get that.”
He can see a future now, something he knows other veterans are still struggling with.
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