WHAT would you do if you saw someone about to take their life on your way home from work?

Would you try to help or turn the other cheek in the hope that someone else will intervene?

What if that person was a family member or a friend, would you think differently then?

A mental health worker from Taunton says he wants people to be more willing to help others and take up mental health first aid.

Andy Pritchard, chief executive of MIND Taunton and West Somerset, helped save the life of a young woman last month after talking to her while she was sitting over the railings on the bridge at Obridge, in Taunton.

It was the rush-hour and Andy says people were just driving around the woman and beeping and shouting at her.

He was driving past with his two children and pulled over to try to help her, but he was shocked by the lack of care shown by other people.

He said: “I just couldn’t drive by without trying to do something, it really shocked me at the number of people who had gone past without trying to help and, even more shockingly, people going by beeping their horns and shouting at her.

“She was clearly vulnerable; she was sat over the bridge.”

Andy said he believes that, in many cases, people were too afraid to try to help.

He added: “I think there are a number of reasons as to why perhaps people didn’t try.

“But, what if that was a family member? You would hope that someone was there to step in wouldn’t you?

“Some people might not have felt confident in dealing with the situation or could have been afraid of making it worse but even just talking to someone can be so helpful.

“It means the person who is considering taking their lives can take a step back and maybe reconsider what they’re doing.”

Andy hopes that one day mental health first aid will be given as much funding as first aid is.

“We do a lot of training with professionals such as people in the police force but I think this is something more people need to know,” he said.

“If you can recognise the warning signs, you’ll be in a better position to help someone and, perhaps, prevent them from doing something like considering taking their lives.

“Sadly, the momentum for the training isn’t there yet but I’m hopeful it will be one day soon.

“If we can get people talking about it, perhaps those interested will come forward and do some training.