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‘Remarkable recovery’ showcased in our one-off documentary about complex mental health

Three people with complex mental health conditions have showcased their “remarkable recovery” in a one-off documentary which we commissioned to showcase the great work we do here.

I’m Not Mad, I’m Me follows Kayleigh, Charlie and Jo as they prepare to leave their secure psychiatric hospital based in Northampton.

All three were sectioned under the Mental Health Act and have been receiving care at our charity hospital for a number of years.

The trio agreed to waive their right to anonymity because they wanted to educate people about complex mental health problems and the role that St Andrew’s Healthcare has played in their recovery.

Kayleigh, who has been an inpatient for three years, said: “When I first arrived at St Andrew's I didn’t really see a future I was that depressed.

“I want people to understand that mental health can affect anyone. I want people to realise that just because you’ve got a mental illness, it doesn’t define you as a person, it’s just a part of who you are.”

Charlie said when he first arrived he was “destructive and violent” and believes had he not received treatment then he would either be “dead or in prison”.

The documentary follows him inspecting a supported accommodation unit, the first step of his discharge from hospital.

Jo, who has complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia, anorexia and depression says she credits St Andrew’s Healthcare for helping her to get better. 

She said: “These people have got me. They’ve got my best interests at heart. That was the moment that I realised I wanted to get better and recover.”

The 30-minute documentary is being premiered online on Thursday, July 8 at 7:30pm during a live YouTube screening. A panel of experts, led by the charity’s new Chair and former Minister for Mental Health, Paul Burstow, will take part in a question and answer session straight afterwards.

Mr Burstow said: “Jo, Charlie and Kayleigh’s stories are powerful and sharing their journey for the world to see is both a brave and generous thing to do.

“They came to the charity when they were deeply unwell and, as the documentary shows, the support and dedication of their care team has helped each one of them to begin a recovery so they can live a fulfilling and rewarding life back in the community.

“Anyone can join our online premiere and we’re hoping that Jo, Charlie and Kayleigh will inspire others, as well as adding to the charity’s efforts to reduce the stigma and shame which can come with being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.”

Katie Fisher, the charity’s CEO, added: “We know that one in four people in England live with a mental health condition. Although awareness has grown significantly around the subject, recent (2019) research we conducted indicates that understanding of more complex mental health illnesses, such as borderline personality disorder, is still very low, with just six per cent of respondents able to correctly identify the symptoms associated with it.

“In addition we also discovered that the stigma and fear associated with mental health hospitals remain, with one in three people admitting they associate a psychiatric hospital with padded cells.  The reality of it is, times have moved on and today, care is about helping people to live a full and rewarding life.

“This film, therefore aims to break down the barriers that exist about life in a mental hospital. Together, we want to raise awareness of complex mental health care and show that admission to hospital can be a positive part of recovery.”

The online premiere will take place on Thursday, July 8 at 7:30pm on YouTube.

Registration is required prior to the screening and a broadcast link will be sent to each viewer just before the event.

Click here to view on July 8 at 7:30PM: I’m not mad, I’m me – Live Documentary Screening + Panel Q&A

To take part in our online conversation during the screening, follow us on social media:

If you require any further information, please contact the St Andrew’s Communications Team by emailing [email protected].