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Unless you’re Canadian or a die-hard hockey you’ve probably never heard of the Brandon Wheat Kings. It’s a junior hockey team in the Western Hockey League (WHL) that calls Manitoba home, and a team that seems to be filled with quality, helpful young men.
Ben Thornton, Calder Anderson, Nolan Ritchie, and Jake Chiasson are all Wheat Kings and the four of them spent the night of November 29 volunteering at a food bank. On their drive back home, they spotted a man sitting on a concrete barrier separating the north and southbound bridges.
Junior Hockey Helps Save A Suicidal Man
Dozens, probably even hundreds, of other cars drove past the man without stopping. Ritchie was behind the wheel and spotted the man – estimated to be between 25 and 30 – and quickly turned the car around.
“I got out of the car and asked him if he was OK,” Anderson told The Brandon Sun. “He informed me that things weren’t great for him and he was having some pretty bad thoughts, so I asked him if we could get some help and he agreed.”
“I think the biggest thing in that situation is just to ask the person if they need help, and as soon as I asked, you could see the relief on his face knowing he had someone to care for him.”
Shortly after they began talking with the man, another person stopped on the bridge and spoke to him as well.
“It was scary, some moments,” Anderson said. “He would get up and that’s when your heart starts to beat a little faster and things get a little scarier. I didn’t get too close to him. I didn’t want him to feel any more pressure or anxiety than he was already feeling.”
Help arrived around five minutes after Chiasson called 911 to request first responders. Police officers made it to the scene and lifted the man to safety.
“You don’t know what situation people are going through. Sometimes all it takes is just getting out to give them a little help or conversation,” Chiasson said.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).