A young woman who attempted suicide "every other day" has thanked the inspirational occupational therapist who she says has saved her life.

Zoe Thomas, 23, was two weeks into studying at Queen Mary University in east London when she was strongly advised to seek help in A&E over concerns for her mental health.

She was transferred to a psychiatric ward at Lewisham Hospital where she was diagnosed with severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Her trauma derives from a troubled childhood involving years of abuse.

Zoe has remained in hospital since October, but she said her fight has returned thanks to inspirational therapist Charlotte 'Lottie' White.

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"I was really nervous, frustrated and mainly in denial," Zoe said of being admitted.

"I was very, very depressed and serious suicide attempts were happening every other day."

Zoe has always had problems with authority figures, and she initially believed dealing with a new professional in Charlotte would be just as ineffective.

However, as time went on, she learnt that Charlotte was "genuinely compassionate".

"I wasn’t just a project," Zoe told News Shopper. "She genuinely cared."

Zoe described reaching crisis points, moments where she considered ending her life, and how Charlotte thought of innovative ways to help.

She said: "She gave me cards which were life-saving. When I was at crisis point, I was seconds away from suicide, and I would show her a card and she would come and defuse the situation."

The cards were numbered zero to five, with zero indicating Zoe required urgent support.

Charlotte sometimes stayed with Zoe until she fell asleep, something she has struggled to do since childhood, because of unwelcome flashbacks.

"I am now getting better at sleeping," Zoe said. "She was so amazing."

Zoe now intends to go back to university to finish her law degree.

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She said she was not ready to leave the ward yet but was proud of her progress.

Zoe added: "Lottie has given me that fight. She saved my life and gave me hope."

The Penge woman is now coming to terms with the news that Charlotte is soon leaving the ward but she is determined to maintain progress.

"Lottie has gone above and beyond. I still have my bad days, but the best thing she taught me was to give 110 per cent.

"That means there will be bumps, but I just need to get back up again and give 110 per cent."

She added: "It is crap that she is leaving, but I just want to make her proud.

"I want her to be there when I graduate, because if not for her I wouldn’t be graduating.

"Words don’t seem enough. What does one say about the woman who saved your life?"

If you're struggling with your mental health, the Samaritans line is available 24 hours a day on 116 123.