A city councillor has opened up about the moment he contemplated taking his own life.
Cllr Alex Yip told an emotion-filled Birmingham City Council chamber that he was once stood atop a seven-storey building in Shanghai and thought about ending it all.
The revelation came during a debate which saw a motion passed for the authority to review its action plan around mental health and suicide prevention in the city.
Councillor Yip (Cons, Sutton Wylde Green) was one of several members to reveal personal experiences of how they or their close ones had been directly impacted by mental health.
For him, it was witnessing first-hand the horrors of the world whilst volunteering in HIV clinics in Africa, that ultimately drove him to the brink.
He saw babies with the virus totally abandoned.
Cllr Yip, who is also a magistrate and a school governor, said: "The disparity between the really wealthy and destitution was really distressing.
"You read about it but to see it first-hand takes you aback. It really, really hit home.
"It was a really low point in my life. You realise just how bad the world can be.
"You want to go out and make a difference. You just feel you are one person what can you do?"
'I found myself dangling my feet off the edge of a seven storey building'
And it was during a teaching placement in 2005, aged 23, when things nearly got too much.
He told his fellow councillors: "In Shanghai I found myself dangling my feet off the edge of a seven storey building in the middle of the night with the wind in my face."
Thankfully his friends had earlier become worried and had gone out in search, one of them finding him and talking him down.
Cllr Yip also spoke about his 19-year-old university classmate William taking his own life.
He admitted it was hard to open up in the council chamber about his own experience but said it will be worth it if it helps provoke meaningful change in the city.
He has also supported Mind mental health and Papyrus charities whilst he is working on a mental health booklet he hopes can be rolled out to every student in Birmingham for free.
Warm applause rang out for him in the chamber as it also did for Cllr Mike Sharpe who said he would not be alive today had it not been for the intervention of a psychiatrist.
The Labour member for Pype Hayes believes he may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after serving two tours in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s during 'The Troubles'.
Describing his time as a 20-year-old Trooper with the Queen's Own Hussars Cllr Sharpe simply said: "Certain things I have seen, I would rather not have seen."
He added: "The trouble with mental illness is you walk around the street and you look fine, but you're not, inside your are churning like nobody knows you are churning."
Cllr Sharpe said it was key to get people to talk but not in rooms full of people wearing 'white coats', whilst arguing that the issue must not be one that is 'swept under the carpet' by the council.
The motion had been tabled by Cllr Simon Morrall (Cons, Frankley Great Park) who had been inspired to do so by the passing of his close friend Phil in 2016.
It was only this year that he learned he took his own life.
Cllr Morrall, who fundraises and donates part of his council allowance to CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), said: "Nothing was off topic for me and Phil, you name it, and we would talk about it.
"To be honest I think he was just happy to talk to someone with a different opinion.
"We would constantly challenge each other and strengthen our arguments.
"Through this we built a very strong friendship. I miss him, and I miss those debates.
"Phil would be delighted to learn that I have been elected in this place, able to stand here, and hold the executive of Birmingham to account."
More than 4,500 people a year take their own life, including 70 in Birmingham.
Suicide is also the biggest killer of men under the age of 50.
The Prime Minister recently appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the first ever minister for suicide prevention and Public Health England launched the Every Mind Matters campaign last month across the Midlands.
While Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £2 billion for mental health services in the budget.
Health and social care chief Cllr Paulette Hamilton (Lab, Holyhead), said Cllr Morrall's motion had the full support of the ruling Labour group stating that the council needed to 'take control of the issue'.
She said: "When someone commits suicide it always leaves people around them feeling guilty.
"The stigma attached to mental health is very difficult to overcome.
"When someone commits suicide or tries to, they are in a place of isolation, and vulnerability, and they find it difficult to express themselves to others.
"And if you speak to someone in this space they feel it would be better for everyone if they are not here."
If you need help contact:
The Samaritans, 24 hours a day, on 116 123
The Campaign Against Living Miserably offers support to men. Call 0800 58 58 58 between 5pm to midnight.
Childline, available for young people under 19. Call 0800 1111
The Silver Line helps older people. Call 08004 70 80 90
Papyrus helps under 35s. Call 0800 068 41 41