BBC To Hold Season of Films on Mental Health

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In order to raise awareness, the BBC are going to host a season of films around mental health this spring across TV, radio and online.

Programming will include a BBC One Documentary on stress and a two-parter on runners affected by mental health issues preparing for the London Marathon.  There will also be a Horizon BBC Two special about Schizophrenia and advancements in the treatment of psychoses, and a documentary from mental health campaign Jack Rooke for BBC Three.

“One in four of us experience mental health problems in any given year and yet people with mental health issues still feel isolated and unable to talk about them” commented Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, TV Channels and iPlayer.

“I hope this season of thought provoking programmes across the BBC will contribute to an important national conversation, challenge discrimination and tackle the stigma that continues to surround mental health”.

The films being shown to aid elimination of stigma towards mental health are as follows:

Mind over Marathon (Working Title)

Mind over Marathon will be broadcast on BBC One the week before and after the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.

A group of 10 unlikely runners with a range of different mental health issues, will train for the London Marathon in a two part documentary series, in order to challenge misconceptions about mental health problems.

Presenter Nick Knowles will set out to find the 10 inspiring marathon runners who will train for the ultimate test of mind over matter.  The series will follow the group through the enormous challenge of getting physically and mentally ready for the race.

The Truth about Stress

Stress is described by the World Health Organisation as the “health epidemic of the 21st century” and experts believe it can contribute to serious life threatening diseases such as diabetes, dementia and some types of cancer.

In The Truth About Stress, Fiona Phillips, no stranger to stress herself, and three stressed out volunteers embark on a unique experiment. Using cutting edge chest mounted body monitoring equipment, this film contains information on stress and about how to understand it.

Fiona will discover how best to control stress levels, how stress can actually help people perform better and will reveal how stress can actually help you lose weight.

Horizon: Schizophrenia: My voices and Me (Working Title)

For hundreds of years, psychiatry has treated voices and hallucinations as an enemy – seeing them as something to be quashed and repressed.  But new scientific insights into how the brain works are leading to a rethink into how Psychosis should be treated.

Horizon joins three people with Schizophrenia as they seek to understand exactly what is happening when they experience hallucinations, voices and paranoia.

How to be Male and Happy (Working Title)

How to be Male and Happy is a three part short-form documentary series, presented by 23 year old comedian Jack Rooke, who found success through his award winning stand up show ‘Good Grief’ which draws upon his own experiences of losing his father to cancer at the age of 15.

Jack uses this film to explore male identity, mental health and body image, as he hangs out with men of different ages who have found their own ways of coping with what life has thrown at them.


Written by Claire Collier

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