A TEEN is urging the public to 'be kind' after struggling with mental health issues resulting in a number of suicide attempts.

Nia Atkins, 17, from Cameron Street in Barrow is calling for more empathy and compassion towards those suffering with mental health issues.

The teen struggled to cope since the loss of her mum in 2018 which led to her threatening to jump off Walney Bridge on November 18.

However, she was pulled to safety by emergency crews who she credits to saving her life. She said: "After my mum died in 2018, there's been an ongoing issues going on in my head.

"I felt like I couldn't cope with my brain - it was just constantly going a million miles of hours.

"I have to be heavily medicated for my brain to shut off."

Miss Atkins, who received treatment at a specialist mental health facility in Newcastle after the incident, previously threatened to jump off the bridge in August.

She said: "I felt like I couldn't fight anymore, I was exhausted.

"I ran out the house and went straight to the bridge and was constantly looking at the water and strong currents.

"I was just thinking mum's not coming back and I can't change that. I was in so much physical and emotional pain. "I dealt with the same firefighter from the last time I tried to jump off who was really helpful."

Miss Atkins is urging other people to seek help before they reach a crisis point. She said: "I don't want other people to get to the point I have.

"I want people to know that they're not on their own and they can make it through hard times.

"People who are struggling can get in touch with me - everyone deserves to be happy in life.

"My mum taught us from a young age that people struggle, but even a smile from someone can make their day.

"I know mum's not coming back and it is really hard losing someone but you can make it through the other side.

" According to The Samaritans, only a third of people who die by suicide have been in contact with specialist mental health services in the year before their death.

If you’re struggling and want to speak to someone, you can call the Samaritans, on 116 123 for free at any time of the day or night.

To find more ways to speak to the Samaritans, visit: www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help.