Mental health campaigner in St Helens for moving documentary screening

Jonny Benjamin MBE will be in St Helens for the screening of the documentary The Stranger on the Bridge
Jonny Benjamin MBE will be in St Helens for the screening of the documentary The Stranger on the Bridge

Mental health campaigner and suicide survivor Jonny Benjamin MBE will be in St Helens for a screening of his documentary The Stranger on the Bridge on Thursday, November 28.

St Helens has one of the highest suicide rates in England and Wales an the event forms part of the Madlove Take Over arts festival for mental health.

Jonny will be joined by fellow mental health campaigner and BAFTA Award nominee Angela Samata for a Q&A after the film screening which will take place in the old Argos store in St Helens 5pm-7pm on Thursday, November 28.

Jonny said: "I am so looking forward to being involved in the Madlove Take Over and screening our documentary as part of it.

"The film seems to have inspired a lot of people who have watched it and I really hope it will continue to do so when we show the film in St Helens."

Emily Gee, Senior Producer at Heart of Glass, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Jonny has been able to join us as part of our arts festival for mental health at Madlove Take Over.

"Jonny works tirelessly to get people talking about mental health and help end the shame and stigma that can often be felt by people in our community. We are sure this film and the following discussion with Angela will help inspire important conversations in St Helens.”

The Stranger on the Bridge tells Jonny’s moving story. Having been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder shortly beforehand, he stood on London’s Waterloo Bridge in January 2008 and prepared to take his own life.

That was until a stranger walking across the bridge saw him and talked Jonny down from the edge. He was taken to hospital and didn’t see the stranger again but was determined to find him and thank him for what he did.

Jonny launched the #FindMike campaign with the support of Rethink Mental Illness, which became a social media sensation, eventually reaching more than 300 million people worldwide.

Emotional, heartwarming and thought-provoking, this is a film about a simple human interaction and how one man's kind gesture six years ago has had a huge butterfly effect beyond what anyone could ever have imagined.

The screening forms part of a ‘Madlove’ Take Over festival. Produced by Merseyside-based social arts organisation Heart of Glass, artist the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) it features the work of 13 local, national and international artists.

Many of them have worked with local communities to make exhibitions, films and new performances for a pop-up space in central St Helens - all aimed at supporting people’s mental health.

The Madlove Take Over space is open for cups of tea, chats, and moments to relax and be a place where everyone can experiment and explore through the projects presented as well as organise their own activities.