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Political Studies Association International Conference 2024 - Danny Bowman Presentation (The Rhetoric of Mental Health Policy in the UK Parliament)

I was delighted to present on the rhetoric of mental health in the UK Parliament, highlighting what determines parliamentarians engagement in mental health policy, and how that informs their policies on the issue. ​There was some brilliant discussions had after the presentation on the future of mental health policy moving forward, and how the attitudes informing it have evolved across the last twenty years. 

The Global Discourse Symposium 2024: The Rhetoric of European Mental Health Policy - Universal or Cultural? 

 It was fantastic to present my most recent research examining the rhetoric of European mental health policy and legislation. Using the PsychPolitical framework and typology, a representative sample of twelve European countries' mental health action plans were scoped and coded. The coding exercise examined the terminology used and interventions proposed by each country. The findings suggested that Northern European and Southern European countries used humanitarian rhetoric partnered with the advocation of social and non-medical interventions, Western European countries used professional rhetoric and advocated managerial interventions, while Eastern European nations used professional terminologies and promoted traditional health-based measures. These results demonstrate that far from universal, European countries' approaches to mental health policy are informed by their unique cultures and levels of development.


Mental Health Practice and Policy for the Modern World 2024 - A Global State of Mind: The WHO Global Mental Health Action Plan (Where Are We Now?)

I was delighted to present my research evaluating the progress of the WHO Global Mental Health Action Plan (2013-2030) and the current determinants of associated outcomes. A representative sample of 32 countries was selected based on their cultures, gross national incomes, and levels of prioritisation of mental health within their health budgets. Using the most recent data from the WHO Global Health Observatory Data Repository, an examination was undertaken of each country’s workforces, infrastructures, and legislative statuses on mental health. The data was operationalised using Z-scores, enabling direct comparisons to be made between the selected countries. The findings suggest that outcomes continue to be informed by each country’s economic development levels and their prioritisation of mental health within their health budgets. There was no evidence to suggest that cultural factors determined policy and legislative outcomes, yet the quantitative nature of this analysis may have contributed to this result. A more qualitative examination of each country's cultural characteristics may have provided a clearer and more fruitful understanding of the connections between culture and mental health policy outcomes across the globe.


The History of the UK Conservative Party Symposium: Mental Health Policy Address.


It was brilliant to present my current research on the UK Conservative Party's contemporary mental health policy agenda. I highlighted the transformation in the party's approach to mental health over the last two decades, moving from a traditional health-based agenda towards a more holistic strategy. Certainly, the introduction of social and non-medical interventions and public health measures under May moved the Conservatives towards a prevention-focused approach in replacement of its previous treatment-centred agenda. 

Theresa May and Mental Health Policy: A Legacy Unfinished? (Book Chapter - Danny Bowman) Palgrave Macmillan. (August 2023) 

This chapter will outline how mental health has been addressed by the UK Conservative Party throughout history before highlighting the contemporary contributions of Theresa May as Home Secretary and then Prime Minister. Theresa May recognised the need to address the issue of mental health if she was to ‘build a country that worked for everyone’ and deliver for the so-called left behind. She would endeavour to do this through the construction of a modern holistic program on mental health which focused on prevention over cure. Both, the types of interventions advocated and the environments in which they were undertaken would be modernised as part of her plan. This would include the introduction of mental health taskforces in schools and colleges, prevention and promotion activities in the workplace, and the reform of the Mental Health Act. Her well-established strategy would aim to reduce the individual, social and economic costs associated with mental health. This chapter concludes that her varied success in achieving these outcomes means that her legacy remains unfinished.

Link: Theresa May and Mental Health Policy: A Legacy Unfinished? | SpringerLink

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Theresa May's Legacy on Mental Health Policy - Theresa May Legacy Book Symposium Keynote Address


University of Liverpool

 September 2022

I was delighted to give the keynote speech at the Theresa May book symposium on her legacy on mental health policy. From her work as Home Secretary policing a mental health crisis to constructing a holistic agenda as Prime Minister, I argued that May delivered on her promises. I used the statecraft framework to demonstrate how she crafted and implemented her program. 

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Political Studies Association International ​Conference 2022

University of York 

April 2022

I was delighted to present on some of my latest research on global mental health development at the PSA conference. My research focused on the outcomes of the WHO Global Mental Health Action Plan (2013-2020). 

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