A York student has launched a charity, MaleVoicED, dedicated to tackling male eating disorders.
Danny Bowman, a second year Social Policy student, is Vice-Chair of the new organisation which had its launch event in the House of Lords this past Wednesday. The charity aims to support boys and men with eating disorders and comorbid conditions. It styles itself as a “platform to all males enabling the sharing of narratives around poor relationships with food and co-morbid conditions.” The event was sponsored by Lord Lingfield and was attended by campaigners, health professionals, and representatives from parties across the political spectrum.
Bowman’s own struggles with body image went viral in 2014 when he spoke to the media of his experience combatting Body Dysmorphic Disorder. He described how he would spend ten hours a day in front of the mirror taking over two hundred photos of himself trying to seek perfection. Since getting the help he required, Bowman has been a prominent campaigner on mental health and body image issues. Alongside his studies at York, he is Head of Campaigns at the think tank Parliament Street as well as a Fellow at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA).
Commenting on the launch, Bowman said: “My colleagues and I are here to support and empower males to share their narratives, to help create a better experience for those males battling such vicious psychological conditions and provide advice to their families and friends Suffering in silence is not an option and we want people to be moved by the powerful lived experiences. Males of all ages can be affected by eating disorders; MaleVoicED will provide the platform to prove this truth. In addition, the charity hopes to bring support groups to the York area in the near future.”
If you need to talk to somebody, you can contact OpenDoor, the University of York’s team of professionals for students experiencing mental health difficulties, on 01904 324140. You can also contact the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a leading national movement for supporting male mental health on 0800 585858.