Letchworth good Samaritan speaks after helping woman in need spotted on Stevenage bridge

A mental health message: You're not alone in this. Picture: Nick Gill

A mental health message: You're not alone in this. Picture: Nick Gill - Credit: Nick Gill

A good Samaritan from Letchworth has spoken about why he pulled over to help a woman in Stevenage who was standing over the railings of a bridge looking down on a busy carriageway.

Mark Weston, who had been dealing with his own personal struggles, pulled over to help the young woman earlier this week.

Speaking to the Comet in Mental Health Awareness Week, Mark was keen to stress he is not seeking praise for his actions - but wanted to explain that even if you think you're alone, you're not.

"I lost my wife in August 2017 after 39 years together," he said.

"I try hard to get on with life, but really, I lost the love of my life. Somebody I loved since my school days.

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"That evening I left my son's house and, as I was coming down the road, there seemed to be a person over the bridge railings.

"Something in my head told me to turn back, so I drove all the way back up and I pulled over.

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"It was a girl - I asked her if she was OK and she told me to leave her alone. I said, 'life's too short, come and talk to me'.

"By now I had made my way up to the bridge and just stayed there with her, asking her to come down.

"I told her I had just lost my wife, saying 'I know what you're going through, I've been there myself'.

Mark's wife Debbie sadly died at Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth in August 2017.

"She told me she was sorry to hear about my wife and walked towards me and I introduced myself," Mark continued.

"I told her 'I don't know what problems you've got but I've been there myself and it's not worth it. There are people who love you'.

"I managed to talk to her and give her my life experience. Everybody in this world has got problems.

"It's opened my eyes. I managed to potentially save her life. It's a shame that there are a lot of youngsters today that are lost.

"She looked into my eyes and I said to her 'your life is worth more than that'. Now I feel like I can move on a little bit, too."

A spokeswoman from the Samaritans said: "There is not a right or wrong approach with someone who may be in that situation.

"People may be concerned about making things worse, but there's no evidence that will happen.

"Simply interrupting someone's thoughts can be all it takes to encourage them to get support. Maybe small talk. This could be anything from asking about the weather, if they are OK, what their name is, etc."

A police spokeswoman said: "Police were called just after 9.10pm to reports of concern for a woman on a bridge in Stevenage.

"When officers arrived they found a woman in her early 20s. She was taken to Stevenage Police Station and was supported by Hertfordshire mental health street triage before being taken home."

For advice on mental health, visit herts.police.uk/information-and-services/Advice/Mental-health.

Alternatively, visit www.samaritans.org. If you need someone to talk to you can call the Samaritans, for free, anytime, on 116 123.

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