Rethink Mental Illness Dudley Carer Support to show inspirational Finding ‘Mike’ film
The national charity Rethink Mental Illness is holding a free film screening in Dudley of a moving documentary about one man’s search to find the stranger who stopped him from taking his own life.
The film, which will be screened at Dudley Rethink on Tuesday 26th August, tells the story of 27-year old Jonny Benjamin, who earlier this year launched a nationwide campaign with the charity to find the Good Samaritan who talked him out of taking his own life in 2008.
Jonny, who has a form of schizophrenia, named the campaign ‘Finding Mike’ although he didn’t know the real name of the man he was searching for.
His search soon went viral, with the hashtag #findmike trending in the UK and countries as far afield as Canada, South Africa and Australia. Millions shared his story and Jonny went on make TV appearances across the world.
Celebrities including Stephen Fry, Kate Nash and Boy George tweeted their support and even the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backed the campaign.
After two weeks, 31 year-old personal trainer Neil Laybourn from Surrey came forward and identified himself as the real ‘Mike’ and the pair were reunited.
Rethink Mental Illness and Jonny worked with the independent production company Postcard Productions to capture the whole story on film. The footage was turned into a 45-minute documentary, which was first screened in London in May this year. Rethink Mental Illness is now showing the film at screenings across the country.
Jonny, who is also a producer on the film, said: “The response to the campaign from the public, both in the UK and around the world was way beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I’m so glad we managed to capture the whole thing on camera and I’m so proud of the film we’ve made.
“For me, this project has always been about more than just finding ‘Mike’, it’s also been about raising awareness of suicide, which takes a life every 40 seconds around the world.Iwant it to spread a message of hope and for people to see that it is possible to recover from, and learn to manage, aserious mental illness like schizophrenia.
“I really pleased that people in Dudley will have the chance to see the film. I hope that it’ll help other people with mental health problems to realise that they are not alone and that it is possible to overcome life’s adversities, no matter how bleak things may seem.”
Sarah Hill who works for Rethink Mental Illness Dudley Carer Support said: “I think that Jonny is an inspirational character and want to raise as much awareness as possible about his Finding Mike campaign. He challenges so many stereotypes and preconceptions and is living proof that people with schizophrenia can recover and achieve great things.”
The screening will take place on Tuesday 26th August, 6pm – 7pm. To book a place, please contact Sarah Hill on 01384 869898 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org . The event is free, and refreshments will be served.