Mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin has launched the ThinkWell project, which offers workshops in schools to encourage students to talk about mental health
Jonny Benjamin, a mental health campaigner with schizoaffective disorder, explains the motivation behind his new initiative ThinkWell. The campaign aims to bring honest, open discussion about mental health into schools to help tackle the healthcare failures and stigma that once led him to the brink of suicide.
Jonny says "If someone had just come and spoken with me saying this is what mental health is, I don’t think I would have got to that moment on the bridge when I did.” It was the 'Find Mike' campaign that led to the documentary 'The Stranger on the Bridge'. One outcome of this was someone getting in touch who was on his way to take an overdose in the park and his housemate stopped him and asked him to watch the documentary. He said it stopped him from going ... he went and got help the next day.
Determined to help others with suicidal feelings, Jonny and the production team behind the documentary, Postcard Productions, created ThinkWell. The programme takes video-production workshops in schools to encourage children to discuss mental health and how to reach out for help if they need it.
Jonny has already been struck by some of the conversations in the trial sessions. “There was one young boy who was too scared to talk about his mental health in case it went on his record and stopped him ever getting a job. I was able to reassure him and it was clearly a weight off his mind,” he explains. Click on the link below to find out more.