Teenage patients to feature in BBC Two documentary

We have been working with TV production company Dragonfly to create a one-off BBC documentary about patients within our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

After two and a half years of discussions, research and filming, we’re pleased to share that the finished programme will be broadcast on Thursday 22 February on BBC Two at 9pm.

The hour-long, one-off observational documentary is entitled Girls on the Edge. The programme follows three families whose daughters have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act to protect them from harming themselves. The teenagers are all being cared for at FitzRoy House in Northampton.

The documentary explores the impact their illness has had on them and their families, all told in their own words with directness, courage and raw honesty.

If you are unable to watch the programme on Thursday 22 February, it will be available for 30 days on BBC iPlayer.

 

Why we agreed to get involved in the programme


Mental health is high on the news agenda, but the general public know very little about the care and treatment that occurs in a hospital such as ours.

In 2015 we were approached by television production company Dragonfly, who asked if we could work together to film a documentary within our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

After a robust, thought-out and considered decision-making process - with input from both our patients and staff - we granted Dragonfly access to film a one-off, hour-long programme about teenage life in secure care. We let the small, two-person film crew into FItzRoy House - a place where visitors aren’t usually allowed to bring a mobile phone, let alone a camera.

Taking part in the documentary wasn't something we took lightly; there was a rigorous three-step consent process for our patients, and we worked closely with Dragonfly to ensure both our patients and staff felt comfortable and confident being part of it.

Each of the girls had similar reasons for taking part in the programme, and all felt that by sharing their stories they could help other young people who are struggling with their mental health.

We’re proud that the finished programme helps to de-stigmatise mental illness, demystify what secure mental healthcare involves, and gives our young people a voice.