Jonny and Neil

'We are proud to be part of the Mental Wealth Festival organised by City Lit and Books Beyond Words.  The Festival provides an open forum for debate and discussion and allows people to speak freely about their own experiences of mental health and wellbeing'.  Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn 

Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn are award winning mental health campaigners in the field of mental health. They give public talks and lectures, write articles and are interviewed regularly on the topic of mental health. They tour the country, visiting schools, universities, hospitals and businesses to highlight the need to talk about mental health.

The main charities they work with include the Royal Foundation, Heads Together and Rethink. In 2017 they ran the London Marathon together, side by side all the way, to raise money for Heads Together.

Jonny and Neil’s involvement with Heads Together,  a coalition of major mental health charities, began in 2016 when they were invited to a private meeting with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to host an event held at Kensington Palace to educate young people about mental health issues.

Jonny Benjamin says: “Neil and I were inspired to join Heads Together after seeing The Royal Highnesses’ passion and drive to change the landscape around mental health; something we were attempting to do in our small way too. We couldn't say no to doing the London Marathon when we learnt that Heads Together would be the main charity partner of the London Marathon, and that it would indeed be the first ever mental health focused marathon in the world.’

Jonny and Neil were re-united after Jonny launched the globally-reaching digital campaign #FindMike in 2014; Neil eventually coming forward as the passerby who had intervened during Jonny’s suicide attempt six years previously during 2008. 


Wednesday 13th September: A panel discussion on suicide and prevention
16:30-17:30 / G01
A panel discussion on suicide and prevention hosted by Mental Wealth Festival ambassadors Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn. 

Thursday 14th September: Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn
16:00-17:00 / John Lyon's Theatre
A talk by festival ambassadors Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn about their personal stories and experiences.