A support group has saved a man’s life – just hours after being formed in Aberdeen.
Man Chat Aberdeen was launched by stand-up comedian Wray Thomson on Saturday – and prevented a dad-of-two from taking his own life hours later.
Since forming, the page has attracted more than 300 requests for help and its first meeting, taking place today, is oversubscribed.
The 32-year-old said he feels humbled to have helped so many people already and hopes the group will get charity status and funding in future.
“I’m really pleased the group is helping people. Just taking the time to talk can be a lifesaver,” said Mr Thomson.
Recalling Saturday’s incident, he said: “I set up the page and the response was huge. A man messaged me and said he’d given up and was planning to take his own life that night.
“I spoke with him and just said ‘look, hang on at least until Wednesday, when our group is meeting. Do that for me,’ and he agreed. I was chuffed.”
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The man, who has asked not to named, said: “I had just had enough and didn’t want to be here.
“I mailed the Man Chat Aberdeen page and when I got my reply about the meeting they made me feel a bit less stressed and judged.
“It seemed like whoever I was speaking to kind of got what I was saying without me having to say it.
“I’m looking forward to the meeting. I’ve got kids so this is a big step for me but it’s not as scary as going to the doctors.
“I think this will be easier to begin with.”
An oil worker of eight years, Mr Thomson quit his job to focus on stand-up comedy and has performed at venues in the city such as Breakneck Comedy.
He said: “The meeting will be informal and social. A lot of men won’t speak with their loved ones or a doctor, so this is an accessible alternative.
“I want to change public perception about mental health to positive. Some think it’s all negative and about anxiety, stress and depression, but when we talk about physical health it often means going to the gym.
“I am hoping the group can become a charity and we can get funding from various sources to help as many men as possible.”
Visit facebook.com/ManChatAbz for details.
For people who might be seeking some support in coping with life, the Samaritans offer a free and confidential emotional support service. Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, every day, on telephone number 116 123.