Dubai suicide survivor opens up on his fight to beat depression

Brit on mission to help others after being saved by Dubai Police and a Facebook group

Dubai: ‘Hi Dads… Bye Dads’ was the ominous post left in the ‘British Dads Dubai’ Facebook group that sparked panic among its members at about 8pm on January 2. Hundreds left messages of concern in the thread below the post written by British expat Chris Haill to ask after the 53-year-old’s wellbeing and whereabouts, and some members even went out in their cars to try and find him.

Luckily one of the members Vik Vithlani had Chris’ number and had been the last person to speak to him earlier that afternoon, confirming that the Londoner had seemed in a bad state of mind. No longer answering his calls, it was then that members suggested Vik should report their concern to police and pass Chris’ number on to the authorities.

That decision ultimately saved the Englishman’s life as at 1.40am police successfully traced his phone to a villa and gained entry through a balcony using a ladder to discover Chris hanging by a belt behind the bathroom door where just in time they were able to get him down and begin resuscitation. Police rang Vik to inform him that Chris had been found and the message was relayed to relieved Facebook members who had stayed up all night in angst.

On Wednesday Chris came to Gulf News with Vik to throw light on the illness that nearly killed him. “I wanted to kill the illness and if that meant killing me in the process then so be it, that’s how bad it had got,” said the out of work media professional, who suffered a relationship breakdown last year and was left homeless, before dads in the group had taken him in…
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