Former mental health patient in TV debate

10/2/15- Matt Webb from St Leonards. SUS-150331-113342001
10/2/15- Matt Webb from St Leonards. SUS-150331-113342001

A former alcoholic, who was recently released from a mental health unit, has appeared on TV to speak about how the benefit system is helping him to get back on his feet.

Matt Webb, 48, was a high-flying marketing executive, working for the likes of the Jim Henson Company, when his drinking began to spiral out of control.

Without the benefits system, I would still be in the mental health unit - or dead.

Matt Webb

He developed a serious alcohol addiction and later underwent a life-saving liver transplant.

But Matt’s mental condition deteriorated, and two suicide attempts and a lengthy stay in a mental health unit followed.

But the father-of-two, was released in January and has been working hard to turn his life around.

On Tuesday Matt, from St Leonards, appeared on new ITV debate show O’Brien.

The programme, which featured celebrity panellist Edwina Currie, looked at the UK’s benefit’s system.

Matt said: “This show was about benefits and part of it was about addictions, as well as obesity.

“They asked me to go on there and talk about my experience of addiction, my liver transplant and my time in the mental health unit.

“My story seemed to floor them.”

He added: “Without the benefits system, I would still be in the mental health unit - or dead.”

Matt is in talks about returning to the show in the future as a panellist.

Matt is continuing on his road to recovery by offering talks at the Sussex Recovery College and is hoping to work with Brighton and Hove Albion’s ‘Albion in the Community’ scheme.

Matt is continuing to share his remarkable story, via a series of videos on Youtube and is penning a book about his experiences.

He is also working on designing his own clothing range.

A percentage of the profits will be donated to a mental health charity.