An inspirational mental health campaigner, Jonny Benjamin is a YouTuber and mental health speaker who is dedicated to promoting the importance of wellbeing. Having had a well-publicised battle with mental health, Jonny has used his experiences to deliver powering mental health talks to audiences everywhere showing them the importance speaking out if they are struggling.
In 2014 Jonny launched a social media campaign called ‘Find Mike’. The purpose of the campaign was to find the man who stopped Jonny from taking his own life back in 2008. Unable to remember his name Jonny called him ‘Mike’ and the campaign went viral reaching South Africa, Australia and Canada. Two weeks later Neil Laybourn was confirmed as the man who stopped Jonny from leaping to his death in London. Jonny’s story gripped the nation and was later even made into a documentary film The Stranger on the Bridge. During his mental health speaking events he regularly discusses this moment in his life and the realisation that he was not alone.
Having struggled with mental health disorders since he was 10 years old, Jonny suffered from auditory hallucinations and schizoaffective disorder and at its worst he believed he was in a version of The Truman Show with millions of viewers enjoying his misery. This led him to his lowest point where he found himself standing on Waterloo Bridge ready to end his suffering. Persuaded by passer-by Neil to walk away and carry on living, he now aims to destigmatise mental health and during his speaking events shows people that there is a way to break the cycle.
Alongside his insightful mental health speaking engagements, Jonny has become one of the internet’s best-loved bloggers. He uses his popular YouTube channel to reach out to others who are suffering with mental health difficulties drawing thousands of views and subscribers from around the world. He documented his journey to India for his YouTube channel taking part in a number of important mental health campaigns.
Additionally, Jonny has launched his own foundation, Beyond, which aims to intervene when young people are suffering from mental health conditions. With three-quarters of all mental health disorders beginning in adolescence he believes that there is not enough help out there for these young people and his foundation aims to bridge the gap.
“Please pass on our thanks to Jonny – his talk was great and extremely well received. I have done a post event survey and responses so far have been fantastic”
“Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for sharing your story with our Bank of Ireland team this morning – the feedback has been amazing! While that’s lovely in itself, even more importantly is that you will have made a difference to some of our people who didn’t know how they could find the “person on the bridge” that they might be needing to talk to. A huge thank you, really well done and my very best wishes to you both.”