When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
"Suicide bid spurred me to help others"
A BOURNEMOUTH man who survived a suicide bid 17 years ago has spoken of his experience.
Paul Scates, 33, from Iford, wants to encourage a better understanding of those suffering from mental health illnesses.
He broke his back and fractured his pelvis after throwing himself from a first-floor window. Against all odds, he made a full recovery but was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Today is World Mental Health Day and Paul is keen to inspire others to accept and manage their illnesses.
As well as working part-time for the Dorset Mental Health Forum, he is a freelance creative events manager and has appeared on Channel 4’s The World’s Maddest Job Interview.
He said: “I live a very positive life and manage my illness, I still have bad days but I can work through them now with the right management plan, diet and exercise.
“I have proved that once you receive the correct treatment and appropriate support networks are in place people, like me, can lead successful lives.”
As well as helping set up self help groups in prison, Paul passes on his first-hand knowledge to the community, businesses, NHS practices and lectures medical students, as well as working with the police and army.
He said: “Despite preconceived ideas, I want to get the message out that just because someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness it does not mean their life is over or that they are dangerous to other members of the community.”