‘My… Mental Health’ Documentary

Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Work | 0 Comments

“Suicide remains the leading cause of death for men aged between 20 and 34 in England”

I am a 33 year old male, living in the UK. This means that the most likely thing that could kill me or one of my friends is suicide. I’m not normally one for nerdy stats, but that one really made me sit up and think.

Unfortunately mental health issues have affected many people close to me growing up. I have seen many people I love dearly, wrestle with illnesses such as bi-polar disorder and severe depression. Tragically, some of these have ended in suicide.

Mental health problems suck. The fact that people find it hard to talk about them sucks. The fact that when we walk down the street and see someone ‘acting crazy’, we judge them, ignore them and try to avoid them, sucks.

If someone we know is affected by cancer, the reaction is immediate and almost instinctive. We all know to offer them love, sympathy and support, to be there for them no matter what. We want to visit them and shower them in love. To help them heal, and to fight together. This is of course great.

But what if one of our friends starts acting strangely, becomes self-destructive or more problematically cuts themselves off and just sort of disappears from your friendship circle. A lot of us don’t know what to do. This has happened to me at various times in my life. I didn’t know what to do then and I still don’t always know what to do now.

People with mental health issues, funnily enough, don’t act normally, and they can often make it very hard for you to help. Also trying to understand the cause of their behavior when you are a person of sound mind can be extremely tough.

Last year, as part of  a team at Knickerbockerglory TV, I made a documentary about alcoholics. You can view a trailer for it HERE and the full film HERE. The film looked at two things – what makes someone become addicted to alcohol, and also once you are, how do you become and remain sober?

Thankfully, the film was well received, with lots of press attention, which meant lots of people in the recovery community or those effected by alcohol issues saw it. Based on this amazing feedback, the channel has commissioned a [follow-on] series in a similar vain.

As part of this new series, I am very excited to be Directing a film about people living with Mental Health problems. The idea of this documentary is to try and discover what it’s like to have a mental health issue, the different types of mental health illness affecting people today, and importantly, how you can learn to live with the issues it creates for you.

Mental health is a similar issue to alcoholism in that we all know someone who is effected by it. One in four of us will go through a period of mental health problems in our life. That means someone in your immediate family, or someone sat on your desk at work. Or you. Reading this now.


We are now casting for people for the programme (to be filmed in May). I am looking for help with a few things.

  1. Contacts within mental health associations/charities in the UK, who might be able to help us find people who would want to be a part of the documentary
  2. People who might directly want to be in the documentary
  3. Resources to give me more information, as well as inspiration for the type of illness we should be looking into. This could range from people from associations who, as mental health professionals, might want to meet to discuss issues relevant to them.

If you think you can help in any way, then please do drop me an email at Mikey@mikeytrotter.com

Praise for ‘My Name Is… And I’m an Alcoholic’ 

PICK OF THE DAY – ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Times’, ‘The Independent’ ‘The Daily Mail’  ‘Radio Times’ 

“An excellent programme. I would urge anyone trying to understand alcoholism for themselves, for a loved one, or just trying to make some sense of this madness that some of us have, to give this show an hour of your time.”

Promis Recovery Centre

I’d like to say a huge thank you for showing such a powerful program. The lack of sensationalism was really refreshing.  The program has certainly been a significant contributing factor for my mum’s decision to seek help, and as such has had a major positive impact on my mum’s life and the life of my sister and I.

Channel 5 Viewer

“As a recovering alcoholic I was delighted to watch a well-balanced programme. Previous programmes and articles about this truly tragic disease have tended to go to extremes

The programme, hopefully, will have helped a lot of people… so thank you Channel 5.”

Channel 5 Viewer

“Shot in a simple talking-head format with real people speaking straight to camera – no voice over – or commentary – the programme proved that the simplest approaches can be the most dramatic”

Daily Mail

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