A British radio host bravely opened up about his own depression then helped save a suicidal fan in dramatic fashion.

UK radio host and comedian Iain Lee is open about his own mental health struggles. Perhaps that’s why a suicidal man reached out to him during what could have been his final hours.

The caller, known only as “Chris,” called Lee some short distance from a nightclub, where he lay in the street, having overdosed on a cocktail of drugs.

“I do want to die, Iain,” the caller insisted, slurring his words.


“Shut up, man,” the radio host replied. “I know you want to die, brother, but I love you. I love you. You may want to die, but we can talk about that tomorrow.”

For Lee, “tomorrow” was the only option. He refused to entertain the alternative, staying on the phone with Chris for 27 minutes until emergency services arrived at the scene.

Like many comedians, Lee was no stranger to depression—he too battled suicidal thoughts after coming off antidepressants. Perhaps he understood from personal experience what research confirms: “connectedness acts as a buffer against hopelessness and psychological pain.”

As the call stretched on, Chris grew increasingly unintelligible, slipping in and out of consciousness. “This is horrendous,” Lee said during a particularly anxiety-inducing silence near the end of the call. “Can anyone hear me? Hello, can anyone hear me?” At long last, a quiet murmur reassured Lee and his listeners Chris was holding on. “Chris, you’re still alive! Thank Christ.”

When police finally confirmed to Lee the man had been found, the radio host broke down in tears.

Later, having collected himself, he tweeted:

“Tonight we took a call from a man who had taken an overdose. He was lying in a street in Plymouth, dying. 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. 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___, that was intense and upsetting. Thanks for your kind words. I really hope he makes it.”

Despite having saved this man’s life, Lee humbly shrugs off notions of himself and his radio colleagues as having done anything exceptional.

“I don’t consider us heroes,” he tweeted. “We were just in the right place at the right time. We did out jobs as broadcasters and more important we did our jobs as humans.”

December—with its long, dark nights and emotionally fraught holiday season—is a difficult month for many, and reports of low mood and depression do increase.

However, the idea that suicides spike around this time of year just isn’t true. According to an article in The Atlantic, “the overwhelming majority of people who kill themselves are mentally ill,” — and mental illness doesn’t abide by a calendar. That said, the holidays are a time for togetherness—for connectedness—and for sharing, even if that means sharing your pain.

“Don’t suffer in silence,” Lee advises in a tweet. “[If] you’re so sad it hurts… share it with someone.”

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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