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Biker rushes in to stop homeless man from jumping off a bridge just in the nick of time

"Every day we have a chance to make someone's life better."

homelessness, suicide prevention
@ryan_s_mann/TikTok

He arrived just in the nick of time.

Experiencing homelessness can take a severe toll on a person's mental health. Even without studies confirming this (of course, they do), it’s not hard to imagine how not having a safe and comfortable place to live along with a lack of financial resources, nutrition and community—all while having to deal with other health conditions, constant stress, loneliness and the threat of danger—can be damaging to someone's well-being.

It’s also not hard to understand how repeated exposure to even one of these factors, let alone multiple on any given day, could result in suicidal ideation. According to an article posted by the Harvard Public Health Review in 2018, those experiencing homelessness in the U.S. are nine times more likely to die by suicide than those who aren't.

However, even with that alarming statistic, other studies have shown that someone who is prevented from taking an attempt on their own life is far less likely to do it a second time. And while those odds might change when considering life factors like homelessness, there is something to be said about how stepping in can truly keep someone from causing themselves irreparable harm.

And that’s what makes a short, sweet TikTok recently posted by Ryan Mann so powerful.

Mann’s content consists almost entirely of GoPro-style videos of himself riding a motorcycle. A trick here, a crash there, facing different elements. The usual content for a biker.

However, on July 14, we see Mann rushing on his bike toward a man he saw on a nearby bridge. Though it’s impossible to get full context from such a short video, presumably, the man was getting ready to jump off.

Once Mann arrives, he immediately steps off his bike to ask if the man is okay and tell him he was worried about him. The two then exchange a couple of hugs. At the end of the video, the man, who introduced himself as Cameron, confirmed that he was now safe.

Watch:

@ryan_s_mann It doesn’t matter who you were, who you are, or who you’re trying to become, everyday we have the chance to improve someone else’s life. Don’t waste that chance. #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #bikelife #biker #motorcycle ♬ original sound - ryan_s_mann

Whether or not Cameron was actually dealing with suicidal thoughts, Mann’s stance, which he put in the video’s caption, rings true:

“It doesn’t matter who you were, who you are, or who you’re trying to become, every day we have the chance to improve someone else’s life. Don’t waste that chance.

Others who watched the video agreed with Mann’s sentiment and praised him for showing kindness.

“Character—doing something for someone you know can offer you nothing in return,” one person wrote.

Another added, “Bro need more compassionate people in society like you. Hopefully, he got some help. That hug had me tearing up. You’re a good person!”

Whether or not Cameron was on the brink of ending his life, it’s clear that at the moment, what he needed most of all was connection. It’s something we all need, and not just in times of peril. A warm interaction with another human is sometimes all it takes for the world to become a little brighter.

And as Mann so eloquently put it, there’s a chance for those little life-changing moments every day.

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

True

A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
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