"You Alright Mate?" is a British expression for greeting someone. An answer is rarely expected in return.

As an organization, “You Alright Mate?" (YAM) is built upon the theme of looking after both your fellow woman or man, as well as yourself.

 
 

THE YOU ALRIGHT MATE? TEAM

JONNY BENJAMIN MBE

WESLEY JEMEL ALSTON

NEIL LAYBOURN

JOHNNY QUINN ALSTON

PETRA VELZEBOER

JAMES SKI

HOPE VIRGO

TOM KIRKLAND

 

 

 

You Alright Mate? was born out of a tale of entwined fates, beginning with Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn.

The two have been mental health awareness pioneers for several years in the U.K. Their story began when Neil talked Jonny Benjamin out of taking his life in London in 2008.

Since, they have become widely known in the U.K. for their mental health awareness work, collaborating at engagements with everyone from Goldman Sachs and Yale University, to UK Prime Ministers and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Their journey coincided with that of brothers Johnny Quinn and Wesley Alston in 2011, who reached out to then-popular Jonny Benjamin via his YouTube page where he chronicled life with schizo-affective disorder. Jonny Benjamin was asked to advise Wesley during his own journey with a schizophrenia diagnosis. The four gentleman founded You Alright Mate? in 2017 to promote fresh perspectives and brainstorm new possibilities for the realm of inspirational and practical mental health and suicide prevention philosophies and strategies, whether at school or work, in family and society, or in one’s own head and heart.

Together, their work seeks to inspire and educate on what it means to ask yourself or your comrades “You Alright, Mate?”, and to be genuinely, optimistically and progressively conscious and supportive of well-being in the home, in the workplace or in other community environments.

Jonny Benjamin MBE was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at a young age, and tried to take his own life in January 2008. He was saved by Neil Laybourn, and a national campaign reunited them years later. 

 

Jonny's early mental health work included an impressive and spirited series of charismatic YouTube videos explaining living life with a complex mental health history. The videos were uplifting and de-stigmatizing, with an air of charm that was powerfully inspiring for their large audience.    

Neil Laybourn won a Pride of Britain Award for his priceless and selfless act of saving Jonny's life during a suicide attempt in 2008. Neil and Jonny have spoken together at numerous institutions, organizations, charities and more.

Some U.S. Mental Health Statistics

 
 

percentage of adult population in the united states living with mental conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia (newsweek)

18.2% (1 in 5 adults)

 

percentage of individuals with psychiatric disorders (35 millioN people) receiving no treatment (Mental illness policy org) 

50%

 

average number of suicides per day

121 suicides

 

Mental health care is improving as the world grows smarter, but there are still a wealth of environments and communities that have not had an opportunity to access the best knowledge, understanding and tools that support healthy living for all.  

Mental health crises can be managed, but not if the individuals and their communities aren't trained on what to look for.

In the US, a lack of knowledge and excess of discomfort when approaching matters like mental health stretches across all classes, ethnicities and creeds, from the living room to the corporate office.

Since starting You Alright Mate? in October 2017, the team has grown the initiative into an organization that provides educational awareness content as well as practical training experiences for communities and organizations. Browse our awareness and strategy content on this site and to reserve an experience or engagement with us, use the reservation tools on this site or shoot an email to info@youalrightmate.org with your inquiry.