Celebrity therapist from Sussex to lobby for NHS rethink on mental health

Celebrity therapist and performance coach Steve McKeown is planning to lobby the government following his first mental health walk and talk.

The psychoanalyst and hypnotherapist has a passion for mental health issues and feels more could be done.

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Steve has just completed a 90-minute walk and talk from Eastbourne to Southampton, raising more than £3,000 for YoungMinds.

The walk and talk reaches Shoreham, from left, John Gooden, Steve McKeown and Phil Burman

He was joined by sports commentator John Gooden and former mental health sufferers Phil Burman and Sarah Brown.

Steve said: “I am already planning next year and I think it will be a lot bigger with more celebrities involved. A lot of people have supported it, it was just too short notice for this year.

“I possess a lot of different skills but what the NHS are offering is limited. My next aim is to lobby the government to spend the money in a different way and rather than signpost, actually train people in skills beyond the basics.”

The aim was to encourage people to walk and talk, to help them deal with their problems.

Steve said: “I wanted make young minds the focus because that is where it all starts. If things are a little skewed at this stage, then you are going to see them suffering as adults. The world we are living in now is the most stressful time ever. There is a sense of neglect of the children because of the need to bring in the money to pay the bills.

“I couldn’t have had better companions. It was tough, being on your feet for nine hours a day, and there were lots of areas that involved lots of climbing but it is so picturesque.

“We did have people come along but the logistics are that once you are on the streets, you are hard to find. Next year, if we can get about 20 people along, it will be easier.”

Steve, who lives in Littlehampton and runs The McKeown Clinic in Worthing, works with children as young as eight and said the walk almost brought a tear to his eye, as he is so passionate about the cause.