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YouTuber River Thompson from Margate launches online mental health series after suicide attempt

A YouTuber who tried to kill himself after reaching rock bottom has launched a series reaching out to others struggling with their mental health.

River Thompson, from Margate, was just 19 when he tried to hang himself in his bedroom last year.

River Thompson launched the Opening Up With River T series on YouTube
River Thompson launched the Opening Up With River T series on YouTube

When it didn't work, it was only thinking of his family downstairs and realising the devastation it would cause them that stopped him trying again.

So he kept it a secret, instead struggling alone with his deteriorating mental health, until one day he built up the courage to tell his mum - and his whole life changed.

"I felt this sense of relief just by telling her - I can't stress enough how important it is to speak to someone," he said.

"The biggest problem is stigma. People, particularly men, don't want to tell anyone, but this is the most helpful thing you can do.

"You're really not alone."

"When I thought of my family downstairs, of them finding me, and how it would destroy them, it stopped me from doing it..." - River Thompson

This inspired him to launch a YouTube series called Opening Up With River T in which he speaks to people about mental health and encourages viewers to open up about their own experiences.

It includes a series of interviews, including one with former BBC chairman Michael Grade.

River, 20, says he hopes people watching will realise they are not alone.

"You never know who is struggling and what someone is going through," he said.

"Everyone has a story, everyone you walk past is dealing with something.

River Thompson attempted to take his own life last year
River Thompson attempted to take his own life last year

"When you're feeling worthless and alone, I want people to know that they're not.

"The biggest problem is the stigma - it's still there and we need to work towards changing that.

"In a year, 800,000 people take their own lives in the world and this needs to stop."

River says he had never struggled with his mental health until he lost his job and was unable to get work.

"I'd been working since I was 16 and I didn't know how it felt to be unemployed," he said.

"People don't talk and they need to..." - River Thompson

"I didn't know what to do. I was applying for jobs and kept getting rejected. I felt worthless. I had no money.

"Things got so bad I tried to hang myself. It didn't work and I was going to try again.

"But when I thought of my family downstairs, of them finding me, and how it would destroy them, it stopped me from doing it.

"I kept it to myself though - I thought telling them would destroy them anyway.

"But this is the problem, people don't talk and they need to."

River is inviting people to get involved in his series via Skype.

To watch click here.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time or click here.

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