Mental Health

David Harewood: Britain is very dynamic but, sometimes, I watch TV and I don’t see that

David Harewood (Credit: CBS)

Actor David Harewood spoke about his bumpy road to success – including the tough life lessons he learned from Spike Lee and from Erik Estrada of CHiPs – in a candid and entertaining homecoming evening in Birmingham.

During the RTS Midlands’ “In conversation with…” event, the Homeland star enthralled the audience in the prestigious surroundings of the Council House’s Banqueting Suite.

Largest mental health survey in film and TV industry launched

The charity has launched the first ever industry-wide study, The Looking Glass, to get an insight into the wellbeing and mental health of those working in the TV and film industry and how could they be supported better.

The launch is accompanied by a short film titled Smashed? starring Alex Reece, which has been created by music video director Tim Pope and voiced by actor Adrian Lester.

Mental health on and off screen can no longer be ignored

Lauren McQueen played Lilly Drinkwell in Hollyoaks (Credit: Channel 4)

The death of Steve Dymond following his appearance on The Jeremy Kyle Show last month is a sombre lesson on the power that television has over people’s lives.

The participant on the controversial daytime programme had failed a lie-detector test, having been accused of infidelity by his fiancée. Following his death, the show was initially taken off air and then axed by ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall.

TV figures discuss the mental health issues within the industry at RTS event

The long-running Lime Pictures soap for young adults has been widely praised for its portrayal of mental ill health. Storylines have addressed depression and bulimia and, earlier this year, self-harm, which ended with the death of the character, Lily McQueen, from sepsis.

“My mum took her own life when I was seven and I later lost my dad to addiction,” Kirkwood said. “More than mental ill health, it was the silence that crippled us. Nobody ever spoke about it.

Dave launches mental health campaign

(Credit: UKTV)

Calm is an award-winning charity dedicating to tackling the rate of suicide among men and challenging a culture that prevents men from seeking help.

Titled ‘Be the mate you’d want’, the new campaign aims to highlight the significant power of small gestures towards friends going through a hard time.

During the campaign comedian James Acaster will voice positive mental health awareness promos, which will take over a four-minute commercial ad break. Next year the movement will also include a podcast and a commissioned comedy to support male friendship.

TV’s mental health challenge

Working in TV can mean realising a dream. From meeting interesting people to attending glitzy award ceremonies, the television industry is, undoubtedly, an exciting place to work. But, amid shrinking budgets, long hours and a largely freelance working culture, what once looked like a fulfilling career can turn out to involve an unbearable toll on our mental health.

Chris Packham: Fighting for change

“If you have a voice, you’ve got to use it for good,” the presenter claims emphatically. “I find myself restraining my contempt with my peers who don’t use their position creatively.”

Celebrities who express support in private, but refuse to speak out publicly, are neglecting the responsibilities and privileges their position gives them, he believes.  “I just think, what do you do with your public platform? Apart from enjoying the limelight and collecting the money, what do you stand up for?

How television is tackling mental health

Bipolar disorder and coping with death are two topics not usually associated with children’s television. Broadcasters, however, have woken up to their responsibility to tackle mental-health issues, and even kids’ television is rising to the challenge.

Cheryl Taylor, controller of CBBC, which caters for children aged 6-12, believes that social media has reinforced the need for mental-health lessons because many children lie about their age to create social-media profiles long before they turn 13.