Radio host Iain Lee has been praised for saving a suicidal man’s life by keeping him talking for 30 minutes while emergency services were able to track him down.
The TalkRADIO presenter, who has been open about his own mental health battle and suicidal feelings in the recent past, was contacted by a man called Chris while live on air on Wednesday night.
Chris told I’m A Celebrity star Iain he had taken an overdose an hour previously and was dying in the street.
Sounding slurred and unwell, the man talked to Iain about feeling like he didn’t want to go on and mentioned that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Iain kept Chris talking until the police could find him
By keeping him talking, Iain managed to find out where exactly the man was and what he was wearing, while producer Katherine Boyle contacted emergency services to get him help.
Chris said he wanted to keep talking and answered Iain’s questions about his feelings.
Iain kept him on the line for half an hour, sounding on the verge of tears himself.
"Tell you what, Chris – I don’t want you to die tonight. I need to know what street you’re on. I want you to get through tonight and chat to me tomorrow, when you haven’t got a load of drugs in you," he told the man.
"I don’t want you to die tonight because I love you. I love you, brother. I love you."
Iain and Kath worked to save the man
As Chris went through periods of silence, Kath was passing on information to the police about Chris’ welfare.
"Someone’s going to come and help you," Iain reassured Chris shortly before a police officer appeared on the line and told Iain that she was there to deal with the situation.
Iain let out a sigh of relief and burst into tears.
"That poor man," he sobbed as Kath sounded emotional.
Iain later took to Twitter to give an update about what had happened.
"Tonight we took a call from a man who had taken an overdose. He was lying in a street in Plymouth, dying," he wrote.
"We managed to keep him online, get a description of what he looked like and was wearing, work out where he was and send an ambulance and police to him.
Iain was left emotional by the gruelling call
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
"Kept him on the phone for 30 minutes while he got harder to understand.
"Long periods of silence where I thought he’d died. F**k, that was intense and upsetting.
"Thanks for your kind words. I really hope he makes it."
Inspector Kev Morley of Devon and Cornwall Police praised Iain over Twitter, thanking him for his role in saving the man’s life.
Chris, he confirmed, was receiving help from his officers.
"My officers that attended and are now dealing with the caller. This is a very typical call for us sadly and December is a hard month for many. We will do our best to direct him to long term support," he tweeted.
"And Thanks to you [Iain] for the part you played. We all have a role to play in supporting those that are struggling."
Kath also tweeted her relief that Chris had been saved.
"Well, I’ll never forget tonight’s show. Off home to kiss my sleeping kids. Be kind to yourself x," she wrote.
This time of year can be especially hard if you are struggling. But there is always help available – the Samaritans operate a free 24/7 phone line on 116 123 that you can call for a listening ear, or alternatively email [email protected] .