BBC announces month of programming to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

BBC announces month of programming to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

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Thursday, 30th April 2020
Tony Slattery (credit: BBC)

The BBC has announced a mental health programming schedule for the month of May to mark 2020 Mental Health Awareness Week.

The curation includes several brand new productions and a range of documentaries from the last two years all chosen to provide support to those struggling.

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, said: “Mental health is important - and during this pandemic more important than ever. Many people may be struggling alone, they may be worried about maintaining their own well-being or want to better equip themselves to help loved ones.

“That’s why bringing mental health issues out into the open is so important. Our programmes aim to do just that.”

New programmes

Tackling Mental Health with The Duke of Cambridge

The Duke of Cambridge (credit: BBC)

The Duke of Cambridge talks to players, managers and fans at grassroots and elite levels to start a nationwide conversation on men’s mental health through football.

The film will feature current and former Premier League footballers including Joe Hart and Tyrone Mings, who both share their struggles dealing with the pressures of playing in the top flight. 

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard also opens up about the ways in which clubs could improve the support they provide for players.

The programme builds on a previous conversation between The Duke and well known footballers, A Royal Team Talk, which will also air on BBC One as part of the programming.


What’s the Matter with Tony Slattery?

By the end of the 1990s, star comic Tony Slattery had seemingly vanished from the public eye following a breakdown. Bipolar disorder was mentioned, but given that Tony was also battling a drug addiction there was never a clear diagnosis.

In this new documentary for BBC Two, Slattery and his partner, Mark Hutchinson, consult the UK’s leading experts to gain some clarity on his addiction and bipolar disorder, as well as those of others suffering.

The film will also explore the latest scientific developments in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of complex disorders.




Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad follows Rio as him and his three children deal with the loss of his wife Rebecca to cancer. Rio and Kate: Becoming A Step Family re-joins the family as they gear up for Rio and Kate’s wedding and reflect on the challenges of becoming a step mother to a grieving family.

Nadiya: Anxiety And Me examines Nadiya Hussein’s life long battle with an anxiety whose roots lie in her childhood experiences of racist bullying.



David Harewood (credit: BBC)

David Harewood: Psychosis And Me sees the actor retrace his psychotic breakdown and consequent sectioning in his early 20s. David also meets others going through their own crises and those responding on the frontline, such as NHS emergency mental health services and the police.

British journalist and political aide, Alastair Campbell, and presenter Gail Porter also share their unique mental health experiences in Alastair Campbell: Depression And Me and Being Gail Porter.


BBC Three

BBC Three has curated a playlist of 15 films with a focus on mental health available now on iPlayer.

Killed By My Debt recounts the true story of Jerome Rogers, a 19 year-old who took his own life after falling into a debt spiral with zero-hours contracts, payday loans, parking fines and bailiffs.

Among the others are Ugly Me: My Life With Body Dysmorphia, following the story of Liane and her struggles with the disorder, and Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay, which explores the mental health issues faced by those in the LGBT+ community.


BBC One Daytime

HealthCheck UK Live returns to guide and comfort Brits during the pandemic.

Ross Kemp: Britain’s Volunteer Army will document the many extraordinary acts of kindness of the 750,000 volunteers supporting those in self-isolation.

The One Show will soon announce a major project that will explore the mental health benefits of gardening.

BBC News will continue its coverage of the impact of coronavirus and the lockdown on the nation’s mental wellbeing.

BBC Factual is currently commissioning additional content for digital and social platforms on the subject with a focus on young people.

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The BBC has announced a mental health programming schedule for the month of May to mark 2020 Mental Health Awareness Week.