’This should be a must read for anyone engaged in working with people across health, social and educational establishments but it resonates with all of us’
Title: The Stranger on the Bridge – My journey from despair to hope
Authors: Jonny Benjamin and Pritt Pfluger
Publisher: Blue Bird
Reviewer: Jim Blair
What was it like?
This is an eloquent journey through the mire that is mental ill health and the difficulties of traversing the route back to recovery as well as the many pit falls along the way. Jonny’s lived experience is laid bare within this book. His struggles with his faith based background, sexuality and mental stresses that led him to be on that bridge actively seeking to end his life are vivid and discussed with a beautiful honesty. I am sure these experiences will assist many who read this in understanding the complexities of the mind and hopefully to consider a mental health breakdown in a similar way to having a physical ailment within the body. By that I mean readers being able to, as Jonny does, share their lived experiences though they maybe painful in order to move thinking and care on.
The fact that Neil, who could have walked on by when he saw Jonny on the bridge, stopped and engaged with him and ultimately saved him from jumping is brilliantly explored here. The ensuing search to find Neil is enthralling and their work together now going forward to bust the myths and create a better future for mental ill health acceptance and of those who experience such significant traumas is fabulously inspiring.
What were the highlights?
The compelling honesty and humanity of the lived experiences Jonny portrays alongside his work with Neil are an essential reminder to why it is important to tune into those around and remain kind , considerate and supportive in our interactions with our fellow humans.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This book is captivating from the outset and the focus on experiences that Jonny has lived through and is still striving to understand make this a must read for all health professionals but also anyone who seeks to understand the traumas of the mind.
Who should read it?
This should be a must read for anyone engaged in working with people across health, social and educational establishments but it resonates with all of us. There is something for everyone within this excellent powerful experience packed book.
the stranger on the bridge