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I was delighted to release my report for Parliament Street entitled A Degree of Support: The Prevalence of Poor Mental Health and the Availability of Support Before and During Covid-19.

This report outlines a mixed method approach to understanding the relationship between mental health and UK universities. It starts by examining previous literature on mental health and education, before becoming more focused in an exploration of the issues surrounding universities and mental health. The second part of the report provides a comprehensive outline of a recent study carried out by myself for Parliament Street on the prevalence of mental illness and support before and during Covid-19.

The key findings from this study are as follows:

  • 1 in 16 students accessed mental health support during the academic year 2018/2019 (before pandemic) whilst 1 in 18 required interventions in 2019/2020 (during pandemic) in English universities. Huge variations existed between different universities throughout the two-year period.
  • The average waiting times for mental health support remained consistent at 3  weeks for English universities. Huge variations were visible between different higher education institutions in waiting times for counselling support.
  • The relationship between total mental health need and waiting times was tested showing there was only a small correlation between the two variables. This may suggest alternative developmental reasons to explain the large variations in student mental health between different institutions.
  • The clustering of universities based on their total mental health need and waiting  times for intervention (based on mean) created four distinct groupings. The youngest universities represented low mental health need and high waiting times, whilst the more developed Russell Groups demonstrated high need and waiting times for intervention.
  • The highest mental health need and waiting times were experienced in English and Welsh universities with Scottish and Northern Irish institutions displaying much lower outputs and outcomes.
  • The collection of data on mental health remained poor across UK universities causing a major barrier for the comprehensiveness of our research

Click on title for direct link to report!



A Quantitative Analysis of Community Mental Health Provision in England During Covid-19 and the Subsequent Impact on the Police

September 2020


I was delighted to release  A Quantitative Analysis of Community Mental Health Provision in England During Covid-19 and the Subsequent Impact on the Police.

This research examines the accessibility of community mental health provision at the height of the pandemic (April 2020) and how the level of access to services may have affected the number of mental health incidents that English police forces were dealing with.

By analysing NHS and Police mental health data this research paper has been able to uncover key local, regional and national trends on the availability of mental health support during the pandemic and provide a thorough quantitative investigation into the relationship between the accessibility to mental health provision and police time spent on supporting individuals experiencing psychological distress.

The Full Research Paper:



Covid-19 and Mental Health Briefing 

March 2020

I have written a prescient briefing for Parliament Street on Mental Health Awareness Week in which I warn that Britain faces a mental health crisis if it does not act now. I offer a practical road map on how Britain can prevent such a crisis (click on picture to access full briefing).



1 in 16 Report – Examining Mental Health Support in English Universities

August 2019

This report examines the level of mental health support in English universities and provides an insight into some of the many barriers faced by students when attempting to access mental health provision on campus.

The report outlines recent research undertaken by Parliament on counselling levels in English universities. One in every 16 University students accessed counselling services in the last academic year, according to my new research



New Exploratory Paper: 

An Education System on the Brink?

Exploring the Relationship between our Education System and Mental Health

June 2019

This exploratory paper aims to examine the research, data, and narratives around the relationship between our education system and mental health. It will examine the causes of poor mental health within the education system, the way our education system may be failing young people with mental health problems and the reasons behind that.



New Exploratory Paper:  Showing Leadership Online and Broadcasting a Responsible Approach

How to Protect People’s Mental Health in the Media Age

March 2019

I have written a new exploratory report in an attempt to examine the role of the media in maintaining good mental health among viewers/users and contestants/guests through responsible media practices. I make key recommendations informed by my comprehensive analysis of the evidence available.



NEW RESEARCH: Training Minds to Save Minds

The author of this policy paper is Danny Bowman, Director of Mental Health at Parliament Street

At Parliament Street we have been working hard to understand the effects mental health is having on people, families, public and private sector organisations. Through our most recent research we have identified some concerning findings. Our findings have indicated that the police are dealing with a higher frequency of incidents with the qualifier code ‘mental health’. Some of our most prestigious universities are struggling to support their students’ mental health, and accident and emergency departments across the country are receiving admissions on a regular basis due to mental illness or self-harm. These findings have shown that NHS mental health services are not the only area struggling to cope with the growing issue of mental illness. It is acknowledged widely that mental health costs the United Kingdom economy around £105.2 billion a year, with the human cost calculated at £53.6 billion (Centre for Mental Health, 2010). From our acknowledgement of these finding we wanted to try and get to the root of the problem. Through research into children and adolescent and adult mental health waiting times within the NHS and through comparing other organisations finding we have concluded that one of the roots of the problem is staff shortages. The lack of qualified staff in mental health services arguably means people with mental health issues are waiting longer for treatment, and due to the long wait are seeing their mental health problem become progressively worse.

It is important to acknowledge that more people are speaking up about their mental health difficulties which is an extremely positive step forward, but with more people speaking up, as a society we need to be prepared to acknowledge their courage with better, timely provision in NHS mental health services.

This Policy aims to deliver that, with an economic plan for mental health. The key aim of the policy is to train minds to save minds.




At Parliament Street, we believe mental health is one of the biggest issues of our generation; affecting many people across the United Kingdom. We have been looking at innovative ways to forge what we call ‘a 21st century approach to mental health’ trying to outline key issues and find solutions to the problems.



Parliament Street’s new report says social media mental health services ‘should be mandatory’

Social media sites should offer mandatory mental health services to provide counselling and support for users, according to a new report from think tank Parliament Street. The new 6,000 word report entitled Mental health and the social media society is written by Danny Bowman, a leading mental health campaigner famous for trying to commit suicide after taking 100 ‘selfies’ a day on social media.

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