If you saw a T Rex roaming the streets of Margate on Saturday the aim was to share a very important message.
Actor River Thompson donned the dinosaur out in a bid to share a message about mental health awareness.
The 20-year-old, who splits his time between his mum’s house in Margate and the Midlands, says he wants the stigma surrounding mental health to become as extinct at the T Rex.
He said: “I want to support mental health awareness. Last year I attempted suicide so I know how difficult it can be. I had lost my job and was unemployed for the first time as well as facing lots of other stuff. I could not find a way out and did not know how to tell anyone.”
River, luckily, had firm family support to pull him through the crisis.
He said: “It was the thought of how distraught the family would be. I decided to confide to my mom and she and my family have been the best.”
Now he aims to raise mental health awareness and says the T Rex outfit was a way of bringing it to people’s attention without the staidness that can come from some reports.
He said: “I wanted to do something different to get people looking and then talking about mental health. I wore the T Rex costume and walked in Margate and Palm Bay and made a few people smile. I am thinking of doing the same thing in London. If it helps just one person that it is worth doing, mental health can affect us all, no matter who you are.”
River also hosts a YouTube blog talking to others about their mental health experiences. Find it here
Support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the Release the Pressure support line Freephone 0800 107 0160.
You can also call the Samaritans on 116 123. To arrange a face-to-face conversation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.samaritans.org.
A list of services provided can also be found on the Live Well website at https://livewellkent.org.uk/in-your-area/thanet/
SpeakUp CIC can be found on facebook
Talking therapy services, either one-to-one or over the phone, are also available in Thanet. Reach Insight Healthcare by ringing 0300 555 5555 or the Dover Counselling Centre on 01304 204123.