Eddie Dean, from Newcastle, used his army pension to fund his charity ‘Anxious Minds’ and help other veterans struggling with mental health issues.
After dedicating 22 years to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which included serving in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, Eddie struggled to return to civilian life and was diagnosed with chronic anxiety, clinical depression and PTSD. He credits the vital support he received from the North East charity ‘Saving Lives’ for his recovery, and this support inspired him to launch his own charity ‘Anxious Minds’ to specifically help veterans in his local area who were struggling with mental ill health. The charity provides free support groups, counselling and mindfulness and relaxation techniques for people who are on the waiting list for medical support. Under his leadership the charity has secured funding from the National Lottery Fund and received an from the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces’ Covenant Fund.
In a personal letter to Eddie, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You have shown remarkable dedication in ensuring veterans can access mental health support with your charity ‘Anxious Minds’. You know from first-hand experience what a difference this help can make and now, thanks to your hard work, veterans living in the North East can also benefit from this same support. I want to thank you for your inspiring commitment to supporting men and women, like yourself, who have risked their lives to serve our country.”
Mary Glindon, Eddie’s local MP for North Tyneside, said:
“I would like to congratulate Eddie on receiving the Points of Light Award. He is truly a worthy recipient of this award as someone, who has faced up to his own mental health issues and put the help he received to good use, in turn, to helping others. He is a credit to himself, to those he supports through his charity and to the whole of North Tyneside.”
“I am honoured to receive this award on behalf of myself and the team of volunteers here at ‘Anxious Minds’. We work very hard at ‘Anxious Minds’ to improve the mental health services here in the North East and feel humbled to have this recognised by the Prime Minister. On behalf of myself and the team, we thank you.”