Award-winning Mental Health Campaigners
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To book Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn for your event call: +44 (0)20 3124 1860
Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn give talks and present on the topic of mental health to groups and organisations all around the UK.
The pair are award winning mental health campaigners – their journey together began in 2008 when Neil talked Jonny out of taking his own life by jumping from the edge of Waterloo Bridge in London. Jonny had just been diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression and was extremely unwell. Neil’s interaction saved his life but the two were soon separated when the police intervened and took Jonny away to be sectioned.
6 years later, in 2014, Jonny launched a campaign on Twitter to find and thank the man who had stopped him taking his own life – #FindMike – it became a global news campaign that reached over 300 million people around the world and was successful in reuniting the 2 strangers within a matter of weeks from the campaign being launched. What followed was an emotional meeting and the beginning of a journey where both men united to campaign around the issues of both mental health and suicide, which is now the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.
The story of their journey was made into a TV documentary, The Stranger on the Bridge, which aired on Channel 4 in 2015 and had a meaningful impact on millions of viewers. The documentary has won a number of awards and is currently being aired internationally.
After a private meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in March 2016, the pair were invited by the Royal Foundation to represent the ‘Heads Together’ charity in running for the 2017 London Marathon. Neil and Jonny have presented their story in a number of different organisations all over the UK and internationally.
In April 2018, Jonny was featured on the Sunday Times Alternative Rich List and a month later his first book The Stranger on the Bridge: My Journey from Despair to Hope was published by Pan Macmillan.
This summer, the University of Bristol awarded Neil and Jonny honorary doctorates in recognition of their exceptional work as mental health campaigners.
Most recently, Jonny and Neil launched their charity ‘Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma’ raising funds and connecting people to support mental health education programmes for young people, their families and their educators.
In November Neil be leading a workplace mental health conference in London.
"It really was a moving and inspirational talk, which I know would have resonated with so many people." HSBC
"I thought your talk was incredible. I watch a lot of talks (and do a number myself) and yours was certainly one of the most moving and poignant I have ever listened to - don’t change it!" Royal Foundation