Neil Laybourn began his activism in mental health and wellbeing in 2016 after being reunited with the man he stopped from taking his own life back in 2008. This man was Jonny Benjamin. They were both reunited through the power of social media after #FindMike went viral reaching over 300 million people around the world. The #FindMike campaign then became the subject of Channel 4’s award-winning documentary ‘Stranger on the Bridge’. When hired for speaking events, Neil helps others to realise they are not alone, and wants to reduce the levels of self-harm and suicide in younger people whilst reducing the stigma around mental health.
Between 2007-2015 Neil worked as a successful personal trainer in London with Virgin Active, the Deputy General Manager for Nuffield Health and the Director for Elite Tribe Fitness Ltd. In 2016 Neil made the transition from personal trainer to leading UK mental health advocate and has since delivered countless talks all over the world on the subject. Soon after 2017 Neil founded the ‘This Can Happen’ campaign which tackles challenges within the workplace and provides solutions for leadership teams. That same year, Neil founded the ‘You Alright Mate’ international mental health campaign trying to make a difference in organisations all over the world.
In 2018 Neil co-founded Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma, a mental health charity which supports and educates young people by ensuring they have access to mental health information and support. That same year Neil was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bristol University in recognition of his advocacy for mental health issues. Proving to be a highly popular speaker, by 2020 Neil had already given 250 keynote speeches to over 200 organisations across 25 different sectors and is an ambassador for the charity Mental Health UK.
Thanks to his heroic actions on that fateful day in 2008, Neil became the recipient of the Pride of Britain Award 2014, never did he think he would become such a leading figure in mental health advocacy. As a qualified mental health first aid instructor with MHFA England, Neil became the Founder of Neil Laybourn Consultancy, and is now passionate to educate his audience on how best to deal with people, be it colleagues, friends or family, who are struggling with their mental health. Neil has the unique perspective of combining his knowledge of physical health with his knowledge of mental health which makes Neil Laybourn’s speeches unmissable when hired for events.