Atif Jamil, a 25-year-old man from Halifax in Northern England, has been given an award at the Calderdale Policing Awards after he assisted in the prevention of a suicide attempt in Halifax’s town centre.
The annual award ceremony was set up to recognise unsung heroes for their “bravery and integrity while undertaking difficult circumstances.”
Difficult circumstances were exactly what Jamil found himself in when he was driving along and noticed a man standing at the side of the road.
“My natural instinct was to stop and help, so I spoke to him,” Jamil told the Halifax Courier.
Jamil pulled over to find out if the man was ok.
“The man was on the phone to a woman and he told me ‘she’s left me’. This man was at the lowest point in his life, but I told him he wasn’t alone and I tried to hold my nerve,” he said.
Jamil, who is the manager of a car dealership, also works in a bank and says this has given him experience in communicating with vulnerable people.
For 15 minutes, Jamil says he was able to talk with the man until police arrived at the scene and pulled the man to safety.
Jamil said: “Every day I think about how big of an impact a suicide could have on a family.
“Just because someone is smiling doesn’t mean they are OK mentally or physically.”
“I’m Muslim and through Islam, we’re taught if you save one life, you save all because one good deed has the potential to create great change.”
A spokesperson from the suicide prevention charity Samaritans, said: “Anyone can contact Samaritans free any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit.
“This number won’t show up on your phone bill, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.