An award-winning mental health campaigner, Neil Laybourn is one of the most inspirational Britons around. Committed to helping people combat struggles with mental health, Neil’s created his own mental health consultancy, This Can Happen. The business focuses on instilling a positive mental health culture within corporate workplaces bringing together practical solutions to real-life problems. In his role as a mental health speaker Neil can bring these experiences to the fore helping organisations of all sizes across the country.
In 2008 as part of his daily commute across Waterloo Bridge Neil noticed a man sitting on the edge of the bridge. Thousands of Londoners had passed by without a second glance, but Neil could tell that Jonny Benjamin could do with a helping hand. Until Neil intervened Jonny was set on ending his life but by taking the time to check on him Neil was able to talk him down and show him that life was worth living. Six years later Jonny created the ‘Find Mike’ campaign. Having forgotten Neil’s name, he nicknamed him ‘Mike’ and was desperate to find him and thank him for saving his life. The campaign went viral and reunited remaining firm friends ever since. In 2014 Neil was awarded a Pride of Britain Award for his humility and was also the subject of an award-winning documentary Stranger on the Bridge.
A former personal trainer, Neil started his own business in 2009 providing bespoke personal training services to corporate city workers hosting group fitness sessions and residential wellbeing retreats. In recent years he’s incorporated mental health into his business. Combining both mental and physical health gives Neil a unique perspective on wellbeing something he can discuss at length in his role as a mental health speaker.
Most recently he’s launched the charity Beyond Shame Beyond Stigma, a mental health charity that educates and supports young people who are struggling. To date, he’s appeared as a mental health speaker at over 250 events helping businesses implement effective health and wellbeing strategies.
“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.”