Filmmaker Louis Theroux spend time on our Mother and Baby Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital filming a documentary about post-partum mental illness for BBC2. The programme was broadcast on 12 May 2019 on BBC 2 and can be found on BBC iPlayer.
The documentary follows four mothers and their families in hospital and recovering back home. Louis explores what lies behind their recent crisis and learns more about the immense challenge involved in caring for vulnerable people.
The 2016 Channel 4 programme ‘Life on the psych ward’ took the viewer inside River House, our specialist forensic unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital, where our staff work to ensure that offenders with mental health problems are assessed and treated effectively, in a secure environment.
Many of the patients on these wards are sent to us from prison and referrals can range from those who have committed minor offences to serious crimes. We also get patients referred from psychiatric services where there may be a concern about the level of risk that they may pose.
This observational documentary followed three patients as they face the prospect of discharge after decades of confinement.
The Trust took part in a Channel 4 observational documentary series in 2014. Our staff and service users spent two years working with a television company to make a four-part series, each focussing on different elements of the services we offer.
The first programme, 'Anxiety', followed patients through Bethlem Royal Hospital’s Anxiety and Disorders Residential Unit, which treats the most anxious people in the country. Some are consumed by irrational fears they’ve caused a road accident in their sleep, harmed strangers or have intrusive thoughts.
In the second programme, 'Crisis', cameras were allowed in to Lambeth Hospital’s Triage ward for the first time. In a postcode with the highest rates of psychosis in Europe, this is the A&E of mental health – where patients are at their most unwell.
Psychosis filmed a community mental health team. The majority of our work takes place in a community setting looking after people with mental health issues.
The final programme, 'Breakdown', focused on older adults. Bereavement, stress and loneliness can contribute and some end up on our Older Adults Ward at Maudsley Hospital.