One in four adults will experience a mental health problem in the UK, and nowadays I think you would be hard pressed to find a member of the public who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by mental illness in some form or another.
With the incredible work of charities such as Mind, Heads Together and CALM, mental health is being talked about more than ever before. Encouraging sufferers to break down the stigma by speaking up and helping others understand, we are starting to see a shift in the way society views mental health…although there is still a long way to go.
Here at JLA, we are increasingly being asked about inspirational speakers that talk about mental health and wellbeing (which is fantastic to see!), and I have included my picks below. From sport, to politics, to TV, these inspirational speakers are ready to bring about change and help tackle that stigma.
Inspirational mental health speakers don’t come more powerful or engaging than Clarke – the JLA office are still talking about Clarke’s visit to our office months down the line! A professional football player for 17 years, Clarke struggled with depression for 10 of these and now speaks openly and honestly about his struggles. Passionate about breaking down the ignorance and determined to bring about change to mental health education and treatment, Clarke always gets incredible feedback at our events.
I don’t think you can get a bigger name in British rugby than Jonny – even non-rugby fans like myself know he is a big deal! Not so known in the public domain is that Jonny struggled with depression since childhood and all the way through his impressive career. At corporate events, Jonny shares his own story and the techniques that have helped him manage his own mental health issues.
Former investment banker and now psychotherapist and author, Lucy is a regular on TV and radio. In corporate speaking, Lucy deals with workplace pressures and stress, and considers how we can improve individual wellbeing.
Working under Tony Blair as director of communications, Alastair speaks honestly about his nervous breakdown and the years he spent denying his own depression. Alastair is passionate about the importance of being open and the support from the people surrounding you. Now an avid campaigner for improved mental health treatment and funding in the UK, Alastair has also written numerous books inspired by his experiences and filmed the documentary Cracking Up.
Jonny Benjamin & Neil Laybourn
You might not recognise these names straightaway, but you will likely have heard about their story. These two went viral when Jonny launched a social media campaign – #FindMike – to find the stranger that had talked him down from taking his life at Waterloo Bridge. Now reunited, these inspirational speakers are devoted mental health campaigners launching initiatives such as ThinkWell, which is looking to bring mental health education to schools.
A long-standing heavyweight of a mental health campaigner and inspirational speaker, Ruby talks openly and frankly about the mental health issues that she has dealt with for most of her life. Through her comedy shows and books, she has tackled the importance of speaking openly, and this year launched the Frazzled Cafe project in department stores across the country – an initiative that organises drop in group sessions where members of the public can talk honestly about their own mental health issues.
To book the above, or any other speaker, contact JLA here.