The Bexleyheath community has joined together to support each other through mental health difficulties after a man jumped from the roof of Asda on Friday.

A support group, set up by Bexleyheath business owner John Bull alongside Lisa Muirhead will have its first meeting on Tuesday, May 22, for people to open up about struggles with mental health.

Mr Bull, 43, who struggles with OCD and anxiety, told News Shopper: “I have wanted to do something like this for ages and I thought this would be the time to do it, in the aftermath of what happened on Friday.”

A man in his 30s is in a stable but critical condition after being airlifted to hospital when he jumped from the Asda building in The Broadway on Friday.

Just after the incident, Mr Bull suggested the idea of a coffee group to discuss mental health in a post to a local Facebook group.

“There has been an overwhelming response to this – far beyond my expectations,” he said.

Mr Bull wants to create an open environment for people to share their experiences and plans to take the lead in sharing his own.

“I have suffered with mental health issues for three quarters of my life. I will be speaking up and telling people about my experiences and explaining why I set the group up.”

Mr Bull wants to open up the group, called Take Your 'Mind' Off It, to as many people as possible, and does not want to put any age restrictions on the sessions. He said: “It is open to all ages, races and genders.”

Eventually, he hopes he will be able to organise activities to raise money for mental health services within the group.

In particular, he has a sponsored walk in mind – which he hopes will raise money as well as give people a chance to get outside and take their minds off their mental health struggles.

He added that, from his own experience, he does not think mental health services are sufficient in the UK in helping people and addressing the stigma of battling a mental health condition.

“I have been a patient of mental health services for some time and I believe the waiting times are astronomical,” he said.

He added: “It gets to the point where people can’t tell anybody and that stigma has to go.

“That man who jumped – what was going through his mind? How did it get to that point?”

By opening up about his own problems, Mr Bull hopes he will knock down a stigma that prevents people from coming forward.

The first meeting will be held in the hall at Christchurch, Bexleyheath Broadway on Tuesday, May 22, from 5.30-7.30pm, for anyone who wishes to attend. There will be an attendance fee of £2 to cover the cost of the venue.