Driver who spotted “distraught” teenager on bridge wants people to speak up and ask for help

A Paisley driver who got help for a “distraught” teenager on the Erskine Bridge has appealed for anyone who is struggling to reach out for support.

The young woman had – on the eve of World Mental Health Day – attempted to end her own life by scaling the railings of the bridge on Saturday evening.

A concerned driver spotted the young girl and called the police, who were able to talk her to safety.

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The Good Samaritan, who asked not to be named, said everyone, especially young people, must know it is “okay not to be okay.”

On Sunday, Mental Health Day was celebrated across the globe with thousands of people sharing their stories and experiences on social media.

The driver was travelling towards Erskine around 9.15pm on Saturday night when she spotted the “distraught girl.”

She said: “I was driving towards Erskine when I saw the young girl climbing over the railings.

“It was dark but from what I could see she was trying to climb over the railings to get on to the other side.

“She looked about 17 or 18, and she looked absolutely distraught.

“I pulled over to phone the police and I decided to turn where I could and start to head back in the direction of Clydebank to where I had seen her.

“Fortunately, by the time I had driven back round, two police vans where there and the officers successfully managed to talk her down and back to safety.

“I was so relieved to see she was safe with the police officers.”

Police Scotland confirmed that they attended the bridge around 9.15pm on Saturday.

Each year, world Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness, educate and decrease the stigma around mental health.

And at a time when the covid pandemic has left millions more struggling with their well-being, it’s needed more than ever.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation, was ‘mental health in an unequal world’.

The Renfrewshire Live reader who stepped in to help at the weekend wants to use the timing of this experience to encourage people to speak to someone if they need to.

She said: “It’s okay not to be okay.

“This happened on Saturday, the day before World Mental Health Day. That’s absolutely heartbreaking.

“That was someone’s daughter and they’ve had to have been through a hell of a lot to consider something so awful.

“People, especially youngsters need to know that it’s perfectly normal to seek help if you are struggling.

“Please don’t suffer in silence.

“Speak to someone, a friend, a family member, a neighbour or call the Samaritans – that’s what they are there for.

“You are not alone and you don’t need to go through anything yourself.

“There will always be help and things can always get better.”

Here are some organisations that provide support for those struggling with their mental health in Scotland:

-NHS 24 Mental Health Hub by calling 111

– SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, www.samh.org.uk

– Support in Mind Scotland, www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk

– Samaritans – call 116 123 at any time of the day or night

– Breathing Space – confidential phoneline for over-16s feeling low, anxious, or depressed, 0800 83 85 87

– Childline – for children and young people, call 0800 1111.

– Here in Renfrewshire, First Crisis on freephone 0800 221 8929 or 0141 848 9090.

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Daily Record – Paisley