BBC announce a season of films on mental health

BBC announce a season of films on mental health

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Tuesday, 17th January 2017
Comedian and mental health campaigner Jack Rooke (Credit: BBC)

The BBC will host a season of films exploring mental health later this year.

There will be a variety of programmes that touch on the sensitive topics surrounding mental health and the exploring the ways in which people approach mental health issues.

The season will include a two-part programme following a group of runners affected by mental health issues as they train for the London Marathon on BBC One; a Horizon Special exploring schizophrenia and advancements in the treatment of psychoses on BBC Two; a documentary on stress for BBC One, and a documentary from mental health campaigner and presenter Jack Rooke on BBC Three.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, says: “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.

"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.”

Alison Kirkham, Controller of Factual, says: “More than ever, people are realising the importance of looking after their mental as well as their physical health and this season of programmes explores what we can all do to look after ourselves and support others."

Mind Over Marathon

Mind Over Marathon will follow a group of runners living with, or affected by, mental health issues as they train for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. 

The ten inspiring runners will take on the endurance race in the ultimate test of mind over matter, competing for Running for Heads Together, a campaign led by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The series will challenge misconceptions about mental health problems and explore the link between mental and physical health, asking if sport and exercise can benefit our psychological wellbeing. 

The group will attend regular boot camp sessions, have targeted training and peer support, whilst showing the mental challenges they must face in their day-to-day lives in preparation for the race.

The two-part programme will be presented by Nick Knowles and broadcast on BBC One the weeks surrounding the running event. 

The Truth About Stress

In The Truth About Stress, Fiona Phillips and three stressed-out individuals will take part in a unique experiment to examine stress.

Stress has been described as 'the health epidemic of the 21st century' by the World Health Organisation, with many experts attributing stress to life threatening diseases such as diabetes, dementia and some cancers.

Using cutting-edge chest mounted body monitoring equipment, Phillips will discover how to control stress levels, and learn about how stress can help people perform better, and even how it can help you lose weight.

Horizon - Schizophrenia: My Voices and Me

Schizophrenia: My Voices and Me will explore new scientific research into the brain that is leading to a radical change in how psychosis should be treated.

The documentary will follow three people with schizophrenia as they seek to understand exactly what happens when they experience hallucinations, voices and paranoia.

It will investigate how new ways of understanding the workings of the brain are helping people overcome this mental illness.

The one-off special will look at the social, genetic and environmental influences on their condition, why this happened to these individuals, and if it could happen to you.

How To Be Male and Happy

Comedian and presenter Jack Rooke will front this three-part short-form documentary series, which will explore male identity, mental health and body image.

Rooke has had first hand experience dealing with mental health.

His award-winning stand up show Good Grief reflected on his experiences of losing his dad to cancer aged 15, and a few years later, his best friend Olly lost his battle with depression.

Addressing sensitive subjects with family, friends and young men, Rooke will also face some uncomfortable personal obstacles in his pursuit of happiness.

From immersing himself in cold-water swimming, to a life drawing class, to dancing outside Pentonville Prison dressed in his drag alter ego Amber Dextrous.

The documentary series will air online on BBC Three. 

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The BBC will host a season of films exploring mental health later this year.