Neil's truly unique story and deep insight make him a highly desired public speaker.
His rare experiences, acclaimed events and personal achievements have enabled well known companies, global brands and their people to better understand mental health, wellbeing and leadership within their own ranks, both at home and internationally.
Neil’s journey and passion in mental health & well-being stems from his own profound experience of instigating a suicide intervention on London Waterloo bridge after witnessing a stranger attempting to take their own life in 2008.
Neil’s calling as a personal trainer in the fitness industry began in 2007 and spanned until 2016, he relished in helping people to improve both their health and their own confidence in themselves.
A suicide intervention
On the 14th January 2008, walking to work, Neil stopped to talk to a stranger about to take his own life on a busy Waterloo Bridge. That 30 minute conversation would continue to have a profound impact on both Neil and that stranger, yet neither of them would have guessed how much.
Six years after the suicide intervention , Neil was reunited with ‘the stranger’, Jonny Benjamin, through the power of social media and they have remained firm friends ever since. In 2014, Neil’s role in the suicide intervention was recognised through a Pride of Britain award, and the following year, Channel 4 told this powerful story in the award-winning ‘Stranger on the Bridge’ documentary, which reached millions of viewers.
Leading mental health awareness
Neil transitioned from personal training to be a leading UK mental health advocate by the end of 2016, both at home and abroad to deliver talks on the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Soon after, he founded 'This Can Happen' in 2017 – an innovative mental health conference tackling challenges in the workplace and bringing solutions to employers and leadership teams.
In 2018, Neil was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bristol University in recognition of his mental health campaigning and advocacy work.<br /> Neil co-founded the charity Beyond Shame Beyond Stigma that same year; a mental health education charity supporting young people. By this time, Neil was truly embedded into working full time on mental health and wellbeing, supporting national charities with ambassador services, being involved in public health campaigns and regularly working across media nationally to highlight issues and promote actionable solutions.
Talks and Events
by the end of 2020, Neil has completed over 250 keynote speaking events, spanning over 200 different organisations, over 25 different business sectors and in a range of different countries. Combining this with scores of media events over the years and also visiting many NHS trusts, schools and universities in the UK, this has equipped Neil with a unique eduction on the topic and provided eclectic experiences for Neil in regards to public speaking.
Supporting workplace mental health post covid
This year Neil is working on bringing employees back into the room together, supporting leading industry workplace mental health events through generating partnerships and participation initiatives.<br /> In addition, Neil is now working with select leaders and organisations to showcase their efforts publicly as the standard to achieve in workplace mental health.<br /> Neil's aspiration in doing so is to provide equality and parity across different industries and make mental health considered as important as physical health - which is where Neil's journey first began.