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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Bedlam - our new Channel 4 series

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) has teamed up with Channel 4 to create a brand new series covering aspects of mental illness you may never have seen before.

Bedlam is a four-part observational documentary series that takes an in-depth and unprecedented look at mental health in Britain today, with exclusive access to our services, patients and staff.

The title was decided upon both by SLaM and Channel 4. It’s based on the fact that SLaM can trace its roots back to 1247 when the Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem was established in the City of London. The priory, which became a refuge for the sick and infirm, was known as ‘Bedlam’ and was the earliest form of what is now Bethlem Royal Hospital.

In deciding upon this title, we recognise that the history of treating mental illness hasn’t always been a proud or positive one. For too long, people with mental illness were simply removed from society, their family and friends and sent to long-stay hospitals (or asylums).

Things have improved, though our aim in working with Channel 4 was not to try and pretend that everything we do today is perfect. We wanted to help show the reality of providing mental health services in the twenty first century and what it is like to receive care and treatment. In doing so, we hope to try and help challenge the stigma and discrimination that still exists today and to promote better awareness and understanding of mental health issues.

The first of the four programmes is due to be broadcast at the end of October 2013. Over the coming weeks we will give you more information on the series as well as  interviews with patients, staff and producers.

For more information please see our news story


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