North East mental health campaigner setting up own foundation

Photo by Danny Bowman.
Photo by Danny Bowman.

A North East mental health campaigner is setting up his own foundation.

Danny Bowman, from Alnwick in Northumberland, has set up the foundation with his parents and his sister.

The family have experience with mental health. Danny’s parents have been mental health professionals, while his sister, currently works in the NHS as a mental health nurse.

The foundation is aimed at helping young people, aged 16 to 25 who have mental health problems.

Danny Bowman, the creator of The Bowman Foundation, said: “We want to build up support and fund support groups within universities in the North East to start off with.”

It needs to raise £5000 to become a registered foundation and is in the early stages of development, with the hope of running properly in late 2016 or early 2017.

Mr Bowman is working to raise money via crowd-funding and is currently researching to see what the biggest challenges are for people with mental health problems.

“I want to help as many young people as I can to address the issue,” he said.

Mr Bowman has enlisted the help of young people from across the North East and other areas of the UK to tell their stories of their mental health experiences.

The 21-year-old, said: “It’s really important [to talk to young people]. To find out where services have gone wrong.

“We also talked to members of the government to ask what needs to change and to service users and professionals who work within the NHS and other mental health services.

“Again it’s really important to bring knowledge together.”

To aid the foundation in its aims, the foundation has also created a policy paper called A New Approach to Mental Health.

It outlines the impact that mental health and mental health care has on different government departments.

Mr Bowman said: “The policy paper sets out to address the issue.

“It affects education, health, crime and the Home Office with immigration. It’s across the board.

“We want to create a Minister for Mental Health in the current Government.”

The Labour Party already has Luciana Berger as the opposition Minister for Mental Health.

Mr Bowman has spoken Norman Lamb, former Minister of State for Care and Support, Steve Brine, the Parliament Private Secretary to Jeremy Hunt, the current Secretary of State for Health and Luciana Berger, the current Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

Mr Bowman has set up the mental health focused foundation due to his own experiences: “I was treated for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and I got better slowly but surely.

“I knew from that day my mission in life was to help as many people as I could who find themselves suffering from a mental health crisis and to campaign for parity of esteem in our NHS between mental health care and physical health care.

“We have the supplies available and I want to get more support for young people.”

“I needed to do something.”

You can find out more about the Bowman Foundation and the policy paper on the website here.

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