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Date: 21 July 2019

Time: 15:43

David Harewood visiting QEHB

Psychosis And Me – BBC Two

Story posted/last updated: 14 May 2019

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) will feature in a BBC documentary about mental health this week.

David Harewood: Psychosis And Me will be shown on BBC Two on Thursday 16 May 2019 at 21:00 and features Birmingham-born actor David Harewood (Homeland/Supergirl/Doctor Who) visiting the hospital.

30 years ago, aged 23, David experienced a mental breakdown and was sectioned and taken into hospital, where he was treated with anti-psychotic medication.

On World Mental Health Awareness Day 2017, David took to Twitter and spoke publicly about his experiences for the first time. He was overwhelmed by the response, as over 35,000 people shared their own mental health battles and their support for those who have experienced psychosis.

Now David wants to piece together what happened to him, much of which he doesn’t remember, as well as try to understand why it happened. In this deeply personal and immersive film, David will retrace his steps to key locations from his breakdown, and meet the people who witnessed his spiralling decline and ultimate sectioning – his best friends, his family, his casting agent – many of whom he hasn’t spoken to about his experiences since his recovery.

Alongside David’s exploration of his own story, he will also meet the people going through mental health crises today and the mental health professionals and emergency services on the frontline – from the psychiatric ward, to the police teams, to the community care teams – to explore what might happen if he experienced a mental breakdown today.

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, which takes place 13 – 19 May 2019, Psychosis and Me is part of a season which demonstrates the BBC’s ongoing commitment to shining a light on mental health issues and how they affect individuals and society today.

Millions of people are affected by mental illness; it is estimated that one in six people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem. Many more of us will know someone who has been affected, whether this is a friend, loved one or work colleague. This pan-BBC season will raise awareness, share stories and experiences and provide support and tips on maintaining good mental health and wellbeing.

The BBC is working alongside a wide range of organisations with an interest in mental health including Public Health England, Mental Health Foundation, the Reading Agency and Libraries Connected.

The season will also feature personal films from television chef Nadiya Hussain, politician and author Alistair Campbell and Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson. The film Evelyn, from director Orlando von Einsiedel, about his family’s struggle with grief after the suicide of his brother, also receives its network premiere. Holby City will cover various mental health storylines amongst its characters, whilst Casualty will highlight the traumas and day to day struggles that A&E staff and paramedics face, and how these can lead to mental health issues.

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