2018/19 Workplace Mental Health Conference Breaks New Ground
Neil founded and launched This Can Happen.
This Can Happen is a solutions-led mental health conference which today is still the largest forum for corporate mental health in the UK.
After 2 consecutive annual events in 2018 and 2019, the event now runs to a global online audience in 2020.
The ground breaking event was personally supported by Prince William who attended as a speaker at the inaugural 2018 event.
This Can Happen won multiple industry awards after the first year’s launch and went on to further develop its own brand of influential awards, under Neils direction.
The coveted eBook of the annual event receives thousands of downloads per year and now sits on hundreds of company intranets as a ready reference mental health tool.
In 2018, Neil was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bristol University in recognition of his mental health campaigning and advocacy work.
This follows a visit by Neil (and Jonny) to the University in September last year when they spoke at the signing of the Time to Change pledge, which set out the University’s commitment to change the way we think, talk and act about mental health.
Mark Ames, Director of Student Services, presented Neil with his honorary degree in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building.
He said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Neil (and Jonny) back to Bristol. Mental health and wellbeing is an area of increasing concern, for each of us personally but also for society.
Neil’s compassionate act of kindness which helped make this possible has also transformed the course of his own life, in ways he could not have anticipated when he stopped to talk to Jonny on that bridge.”
‘You Alright Mate?' 2017
Neil co-founded and launched ‘You Alright Mate?’ in the USA with Jonny Benjamin and fellow US mental health campaigner, Johnny Quinn Alston. ‘You Alright Mate?’ Is a thought leadership platform which connects mental health experts, strategists, creatives and educators with individuals and organisations.
It’s key aim is to increase awareness of mental health in the workplace and improve best practices outside of the UK.
‘You Alright Mate’ has sparked conversations about mental health and led to impactful changes in a diverse range of industry sectors.
Here are just a few examples of the events hosted since it was established in 2017.
- Thomson Reuters
- Neil Laybourn (along with fellow ‘You alright mate’ speakers) discussed mental health with staff at the Thomson Reuters headquarters in New York City.
- Yale School of Management
- Neil Laybourn addressed Yale School of Management staff and students in a collaborative conversation with clinical professors to break down barriers in discussing mental health at the university.
- Black Rock
- Neil Laybourn spoke to an external audience of business leaders, via a panel of ‘You Alright Mate’ speakers, hosted by Black Rock offices in New York City.
Mind Media Award 2015
The #FindMike social media campaign made headlines around the world as Jonny searched for the Good Samaritan, ‘Mike’, who talked him out of taking his own life.
‘Mike’ turned out to be Neil Laybourn, whose simple act of kindness prevented Jonny from taking his life.
Neil (along with Jonny) was awarded the Mind Media Award for ‘Making a Difference’ in 2015.
The Mind Media Awards are sponsored by VirginMoneyGiving which has raised £6million over the past six years to support the work of Mind.
Pride of Britain Award 2014
Neil was given a special recognition at the Pride of Britain Awards for his role in the suicide intervention of Jonny Benjamin.
Neil was on his way to work when he saw Jonny Benjamin, who had been diagnosed with a type of schizophrenia, on the edge of Waterloo Bridge intent on ending his life.
He was handed the award by comedian Russel Brand at the star studded glittering ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
Russell Brand greeted him by planting a big kiss on his cheek, and saying he was honoured to present an award to such a “wonderful example of humanity.”