AN UNEMPLOYED Brit has gone viral after tweeting "I am not OK" – with hundreds of thousands of well-wishers sending him words of kindness.
Edmund O'Leary, 51, sent out the cry for help on Friday night after enduring an "absolutely horrendous" year living alone during the pandemic.
He tweeted: "I am not ok. Feeling rock bottom.
"Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."
The Surrey man, who describes himself as a “proud Dad of twin sons," was inundated with words of encouragement from across the world.
Edmund's mental health had plummeted after being turned down for job after job, as well as suffering from loneliness after living alone during the pandemic.
But after sending his tweet late on Friday night, strangers from across the globe had reached out to brighten his mood.
The tweet has now been seen over 10 million times, with nearly 100,000 replies and 300,000 likes.
One local man asked Edmund out for a coffee, while other well-wishers asked if he needed help with his CV.
Parents shared photos of their smiley children, while others sent pictures of beautiful sunsets and images their pets to put a smile on the man's face.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
Former Tory MP Louise Mensch replied to Mr O’Leary on Saturday: “How are you doing this morning? DM if you need someone to talk to.”
One American user said: "Hello from acorss the pond, Edmund! You are such an amazing peson to reach out like this and inspire others.
"A lot of people are struggling right now, but in life nothing remains constant.
"Things will get better and the sun will shine again. Please hang in there. Peace."
Journalist Yashar Ali replied to Edmund with a video he captured in Kenya of elephants – adding that he was there to chat if needs be.
Dublin Airport's official social media account also joined in, tweeting: "Hi Edmund, you are not alone.
"So many people are feeling exactly that way at the minute. Never forget that you are loved & there are people who care about you.
"We see you like 747s; here’s one just for you, along with a picture of dawn in Dublin. Sending you hugs from back home."
Overwhelmed by the kind responses, Edmund told The Sunday Times: "Most days are really rubbish, and yesterday was another day I was feeling really low.
"I thought: I’m going to be honest.
"I am shocked at the degree of the response. It has been phenomenal … It was just crazy.
"If I were to respond to every single tweet, I’m not joking, I’d need to employ staff.
Edmund added that this year has been "absolutely horrendous" as his mental health had "really taken a battering."
He said: "I live on my own, I’m divorced, I don’t have much family support."
The 51-year-old has been unemployed for 18 months after working as a mental health worker.
He had hoped to watch his twin son Patrick, 22, graduate with a first-class degree, and take his other son Connor to Dublin to start a PhD – but neither happened because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Contact the Samaritans
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.
Or email https://www.samaritans.org/
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