A MAN who lost his successful career and his marriage because of mental health issues said he "would be dead" without the help of a Salisbury charity.

Sam Goss said he "hit rock bottom" after losing his NHS job, suffering a marriage breakdown, attempting to commit suicide and a failed bid to start a new life abroad in Thailand.

The 45-year-old said outwardly his life looked successful. He had built a career in administration, got married, fathered a daughter and owned a large house with two cars.

"The truth is that I was in a terrible mess," Sam said. "Eventually, at the peak of my 'success', I tried to hang myself."

Sam was being treated for depression, bi-polar disorder and a chronic mood disorder.

His wife left him, he lost his job and in "a desperate attempt to start afresh" he moved to Thailand to train as a dive-master.

But his mental health continued to deteriorate and after is daughter became ill Sam was forced to return to Salisbury.

Within three days of returning to the city, Salisbury Trust for the Homeless found Sam a room and helped him start to apply for benefits.

Now, two years on, he is living independently and volunteering for a wildlife charity.

"I have had a tumultuous couple of years and I know that if it had not been for the direct care of the Trust and my doctor I would be dead," he said.

Sam said: "I am no longer living under the wing of the Trust but will be forever grateful.

"Their help and support has been humbling. Even people who externally seem fine can quickly fall prey to the pitfalls of modern life, or contract an illness that leaves them helpless and alone."

Sam will be helping with the Trust's Christmas Fundraising Campaign, starting tomorrow (Tuesday, December 5) collecting money on the streets of Salisbury, Wilton and Amesbury.

"I am delighted to help," he said. "I hope that you remember the work that the staff at the Trust do, and the effect they have on so many lives.

"Next time you see them collecting, please donate."