AUGUST 30, 2016, is a date burned into Scott Cowley’s memory.

It’s the day he found himself sat on the cliff edge at Beachy Head. The Sussex cliffs are so notorious as a suicide spot the area is patrolled by local volunteers.

“Honestly? I don’t know what my intentions were, but I was at a point where I couldn’t struggle anymore,” said Scott, 47.

“I don’t remember how I got there.

“All I remember is walking up and down the cliff for a period of time. Then, I was literally sat on the edge. I don’t know how long I was there.”

A paramotorist gliding past the cliff shouted to Scott, later landing and hurrying over to check he was okay. When police were called, Scott was sectioned and later transferred to Swindon.

The former oil pipeline worker, who says he had struggled with mental health problems, substance and alcohol addictions, was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

That diagnosis made sense, said Scott. It explained his extreme reactions to stressful situations, feelings of being unwanted, abandoned and unloved.

A key worker at Swindon Mind referred Scott to IPSUM.

The charity got him presenting and producing a regular radio show. Hearing he had a talent for poetry, they encouraged him to share his verses on the airwaves.

It proved to be a life-changing decision. “I’ve been writing poetry on and off all my life,” said Scott. His work is based on his life story, described by Scott as life crisis, love and discovery.

He said of his poetry: “It helps me get it off my chest and out into the open. It inspires others. It opens doors for conversations into difficult subjects.

“Quite often, they’re hard things to share. It can take a great deal out of you – mentally and physically.”

Since his first open-mic poetry night in February 2017, Scott has performed his works around the country.

And, together with fellow volunteers, he’s set up a monthly open poetry night in Swindon. Rusty Goat meets at Baristocats coffee shop, on Commercial Road, on the first Monday of every month. It is open to everyone, whether a performer or listener.

Scott, who was also supported by the community gardens and now runs poetry sessions with Twigs service users, said: “Reading poetry has certainly given me a great deal more confidence and it’s been massively beneficial to my mental health recovery. It’s been the best therapy.”

For more, visit the Rusty Goat’s Poetry Corner Facebook page:

The Samaritans can be contacted on the free-to-call helpline number 116 123.