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The Stranger on the Bridge

Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook contains a bonus interview between Jonny Benjamin and Natasha Devon, author of A Beginner's Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z from Anxiety to Zero F**cks Given.

In 2008, 20-year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him - a decision that saved Jonny's life.

Fast-forward to 2014 and Jonny, together with Rethink Mental Illness, launched a campaign with a short video clip so that Jonny could finally thank that stranger who put him on the path to recovery. More than 319 million people around the world followed the search. ITV's breakfast shows picked up the story until the stranger, whose name is Neil Laybourn, was found, and - in an emotional and touching moment - the pair reunited and have remained firm friends ever since.

The Stranger on the Bridge is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Using extracts from diaries Jonny has been writing from the age of 13, this book is a deeply personal memoir with a unique insight on mental health. 

Jonny was recognised for his work as an influential activist changing the culture around mental health when he was awarded an MBE in 2017. He and Neil now work full-time together visiting schools, hospitals, prisons and workplaces to help end the stigma by talking about mental health and suicide prevention. The pair ran the London Marathon together in 2017 in aid of HeadsTogether. Following the global campaign to find the stranger, in 2015 Channel 4 made a documentary of Jonny's search, which has now been shown in 14 territories.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Jonny Benjamin (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

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An exciting true story from beginning to end

Amazing how genuine the story is, how straight to the point delicate themes are discussed. Jonny shows an enormous capacity to go beyond his difficult and challenging life and transform it into an opportunity to help others. He brings up mental health into discussion in a natural and safe environment with dignity and respect.

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Very personal story on mental health and recovery

It's a very touching and moving personal story about Jonny Benjamin's struggle with his mental illness and his road to recovery. I got this book after hearing Jonny's and Neil's story at a conference. I listened to this book while running and many times I found myself running and crying or close to tears. The reason for this is that Jonny's account of his journey is very open, very sincere and impressively honest. It resonated a lot with my personal experiences. As a practising psychologist, I learned from this lived experience of struggle with mental health difficulties things I could never learn from textbooks and lectures. I also find it very inspiring and hopeful – I want to remind myself about Jonny's story when I deal with situations that seem hopeless and everyone involved starts to feel helpless. As a parent, if found it very shocking in a sense that we might not know what kind of struggles might be torturing our kids, even if try to be caring and supportive parents. Therefore it seems so important that Jonny is sharing his personal story and is doing so much to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. As this stigma makes us hide or ignore our struggles when in fact it would be better for all of us if we were more open about them. Thank you!

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  • Suzanne
  • 06-17-18

A must read

Loved this book, I have learnt so much. Thank you for sharing your life story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-17-18

Wow - very moving and powerful

Intense but fascinating insight into Jonny's struggle with his own Mental Health and his incredible ongoing journey. Made all the more real by hearing it in his own voice.

Would happily recommend to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay Dowell
  • 06-10-18

Great insight into mental health

This showed the variety of circumstances that affect mental health and treatment that is available.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jill middlemas
  • 05-20-18

Excellent

It's about time this awful illness was talked about so many of us suffer and its soul destroying. Hats off to Johnny for bearing his soul and letting the world know how much stigma surrounds mental illness

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Martin G. Fishwick
  • 08-03-19

Moving story

What a book! Loved it from the start and some of the life experiences were so descriptive it was brilliant to listen to and so hard to stop, even made me go a longer route one time on the way home just so I could get the end of the chapter in.
Would love to see live or will try and invite to a Mental Health day at work. Thanks for your account Jonny and take care 😎

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  • yellow top
  • 05-20-19

Life changing

I'm delighted the author was also the narrator, as that added to the experience . An incredible story, by a truly incredible man. A great tool for those that want to educate themselves, and an inspiration for those with a particular interest in mental health.

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  • Mezza
  • 03-07-19

Incredible | Heartwarming | Honest | Real

The Stranger on the Bridge is one of the most real, raw and honest books I’ve listened to in a long time. Narrated perfectly, Jonny’s journey is told in a real and honest way. You feel as if you’re on the journey with him. The way it has been written is brilliant and a testament to his own mind, ability and life story. There is hope in the book, love and humanity which I think is fantastic!

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  • "Low On Life"
  • 09-25-18

A remarkable journey...

This was my first audio-book, and I'm really glad I purchased it. I hadn't heard of Jonny Benjamin until a few months ago, but since watching his Youtube videos and now having listened to him tell his life story, I feel like I know him intimately... and for this I'm very grateful, as like myself and many others, Jonny suffered in silence with mental health issues from a young age. I applaud his bravery for telling his story so openly, and his journey from the depths of despair to present day is nothing short of incredible. Jonny is truly inspiring, and has quickly become a personal hero of mine!

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  • katie roberts
  • 09-19-18

Brave and inspiring

such a heartfelt and emotional listen but totally worth it. So much respect for Jonny and Neil for sharing this story. such inspiration and it has given me a better perspective on my life. I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone!!

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  • Sam
  • 08-09-18

An incredible story

A open and honest tale of what it is like to cope with mental health issues. I really relate to Jonny and am so glad I downloaded this audio book. I saw him talk at Wilderness Festival last weekend having never heard of him before and his talk was so inspiringing that I was driven to download his book and learn more about his story. I am so glad I did!