Channel 4 has announced Scarlett Investigates… which will see Scarlett Moffatt look at the rise in Tourette’s and tics amongst teenagers.
The one-off special is close to Moffatt’s heart because she developed facial tics from Bell's Palsy when she was 12 years old, which lasted for two years.
During the pandemic, doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital and St Thomas’ have found a significant rise in the number of teenagers suffering from Tourette’s syndrome or tic disorders.
In the past, doctors would receive four to six referrals per year and they now receive that number per week.
Since the start of the pandemic, 75% of 13 to 19-year-olds have experienced some form of mental health issue, and experts have suggested that anxiety is one of the main triggers and causes of the rise in tics.
Moffatt will travel around the UK to meet some of the people who have recently been diagnosed, scientists who are trying to understand the new phenomenon, Tourette’s TikTok influences, charity campaigners and the neurologists treating those affected.
With so many potential causes, from being a symptom of the pandemic, to social media, to mass hysteria, Moffatt will leave no stone unturned.
Scarlett Moffatt commented: “I am so grateful to Channel 4, Firecracker and all of our incredible contributors for allowing us to focus a lens on the topic of Tourette’s and tics in teenagers.
“This show is something I personally feel incredibly passionate about as I suffered with facial tics when diagnosed with Bell's Palsy as a child and wish there was this kind of information and education available back then as it's something so many young people have to deal with.”