Thursday, 30 January 2014

#FindMike: Now That I've Found You

“There’s such a stigma surrounding schizophrenia. People think it’s split personalities but it’s not like that” he tells me. And Jonny’s not afraid to stop there. When I broach the subject of his homosexuality he’s refreshingly candid. We talk about how he’s dealt with both his sexuality and his condition and whether being so open has led to more discrimination.

“Part of the reason I was hospitalised was because I was so conflicted about my sexuality. I come from a Jewish background where being gay is frowned upon. I was really terrified and I think that contributed to me being so unwell."

Jonny Benjamin talking to Planet Ivy last year.

Jonny Benjamin features in the feel-good story of the day - though I haven't read one account that mentioned the above detail.
On Tuesday he was reunited with Neil Laybourn, right, who saved his life by talking him down when he was about to commit suicide on Waterloo Bridge in 2008.
They'd never seen each other since.
Jonny had started a Twitter hashtag a year ago - #findmike - which as they say "went viral".
He told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast today: "This stranger just coming up to me and saying 'you can do it mate, you can overcome anything' - that was the turning point for me."
Neil said; "I just kept asking him questions... and let him know that if he wanted to talk about it, I was there."
Jonny is now a mental health worker, and a videoblogger - and a rather handsome fellow.
He is now working on a documentary about his search for "Mike".

• Need to talk? Samaritans 08457 90 90 90. Or Rethink Mental Illness.

1 comment:

  1. I've been following his youtube account for over a year.
    He is very beautiful, outside and inside. And inspiring.
    Good luck to him.