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OU/ BBC co-production Psychosis and Me airs tonight

At 23 years-old, actor, David Harewood had a psychotic breakdown and was sectioned. As he puts it, he ‘lost his mind’. David Harewood: Psychosis and Me, co-produced by the BBC and The Open University’s Broadcast and Partnerships team airs on Thursday 16 May at 9pm on BBC Two. The one-off programme tells David’s full story – piecing back together what happened to him and helping others better understand what it’s like to experience psychosis.

David lets viewers into the realities of experiencing a psychotic breakdown, opening up in a way he has never done before – and in a way that viewers rarely see. Meeting up with old friends who were with him when he was sectioned, David realises just how much he blocked out and travelling to his hometown of Birmingham, he goes through the details with his Mum. But he doesn’t want to just trace his own story – David spends time with combined emergency NHS mental health and police teams as they go out on 999 calls to treat people in distress; he meets young people who are living with psychosis at an early intervention group in Solihull run by Psychiatrist, Erin Turner; and spends time with two inspirational young people to talk about their own experiences of psychosis, their treatment and ongoing recoveries.

OU Academic Consultant, Dr Sarah Vicary, Associate Head of School for Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies has been involved in advising and shaping production. She’s also helped curate free resources on the programme for OpenLearn, including an interactive quiz to test your knowledge about the facts and misconceptions of psychosis.

Dr Sarah Vicary said:

“It’s hugely exciting to be involved in this OU/ BBC co-produced programme, especially as it’s such a valuable tool to raise awareness and a better understanding of psychosis and wider mental health issues. Viewers will gain a great deal from watching David’s story, giving first-hand experience of what it’s like being detained under the Mental Health Act. I hope it sparks people’s interest to learn more.”

David Harewood: Psychosis & Me will air on BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday 16 May. It will be available to watch for 30 days from this date on iPlayer.

Find out more

To hear more from Dr Sarah Vicary on her role at the OU and how she hopes the documentary will inspire learning about mental health, view more from her interview here.

For free learning resources visit the David Harewood: Psychosis and Me OpenLearn site

About studying Mental Health Nursing at The Open University

  • Commissioned for The Open University by Dr Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast and Partnerships
  • OU Academic Consultant: Dr Sarah Vicary (WELS)
  • OU Media Fellow: Dr Mathijs Lucassen (WELS)
  • OU Broadcast Project Manager: Amie Nimmo
  • OU Digital Content Producer: Daniel Browne
  • BBC Commissioning Editor: Fozia Khan
  • Films for Record Executive Producer: Emma Hindley
  • Films for Record Producers and Directors: Wendie Ottewill and Olivia Isaacs

About Author

Hannah is part of the Media Relations Team at The Open University, working with the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. With experience both agency and in-house, Hannah has worked on campaigns for a number of large corporate companies and brands, including RBS, NatWest, Travelodge, Audible, AA and the Royal Academy of Dance. She has completed a Masters in Publishing Studies from Oxford Brookes and is currently studying towards a DipHE in Computer, IT and Design. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading and going to the theatre.

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