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BBC to screen season of mental health programmes

The BBC has announced it is to screen a whole series of documentaries across television and radio next month (May) to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

The season will include a film on tackling mental health with the Duke of Cambridge, where he meets players, fans and managers from grassroots to the elite as part of his efforts to start the biggest ever conversation on mental health, through football.

The film will also tell the stories of men from across the country who have been affected by, or are currently experiencing, mental health issues.

The men come from all walks of life, from former England goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has been forced to cope with a very public decline in his career and is now struggling to get into the first team at Burnley, to a group of bereaved fathers who use their local football team as a support network and safe space to talk.

Another documentary will focus on the comedian and actor Tony Slattery.

He became a comedy star in the 1990s, regularly appearing on both stage and screen, but by the turn of the millennium, he’d had a breakdown and completely vanished from public life.

Bipolar disorder was discussed but, at the time, Tony was struggling with cocaine and alcohol addiction and it wasn’t possible to make a clear diagnosis.

This film follows Tony and his partner of 35 years, Mark Hutchinson, as they visit the UK’s leading experts on mood disorders and addiction in the hope of getting some clarity on the problems that have dogged his life.

‘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,’ said BBC director-general, Tony Hall.

‘That’s why bringing mental health issues out into the open is so important. Our programmes aim to do just that. They highlight the issues affecting many and will hopefully help people seek the support they need.

‘The BBC wants to help. Hopefully these programmes will make a real difference. I want to thank all the contributors who have generously shared their personal stories with the BBC,’ added Mr Hall.

Photo Credit – Chezbeate (Pixabay)

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