Mental health charity Mind has praised a week of programmes on S4C to encourage discussion and start a conversation about mental health.
Sara Moseley, Director of Mind Cymru, said that she’s “delighted” that the Welsh television channel is “shining a light on mental health problems” as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Documentary Matt Johnson: Iselder a Fi, to be broadcast on Wednesday 10 May at 9.30, sees the presenter Matt Johnson, 34, from Caerphilly, taking a personal journey to learn more about mental health and depression, especially among young men. In the programme Matt talks openly about his personal struggle with depression and the time he nearly took his own life - a secret he kept quiet for many years.
On Saturday 13 May at 9:00, we can hear the story of a young mother and her battle with post-natal depression. After conquering the condition after the birth of her daughter, Lleucu, Alaw Griffiths, 33, from Mold was devastated to discover the condition had returned following the birth of her second child, her son, Morgan. O’r Galon: Gyrru Drwy Storom is a brave and honest account of one mother's struggle and her belief that all mental health problems should be talked about in order to lift the stigma associated with conditions like hers.
Statistics suggest that there is a suicide in Wales almost every day. In the powerful and personal film, Colli Dad, siarad am hynna, on Sunday 14 May at 9:00, Stephen Hughes, 33, from Llanfechell, Anglesey tackles the stigma about mental health within rural communities and talks about his father's suicide in an attempt to understand why we find it so difficult to talk about mental health issues and suicide.
Sara Moseley, Director of Mind Cymru, said: “Mental health problems impact so many people in Wales, and we need to make sure people are talking about them. Whatever your diagnosis, it’s important to know that help is out there.
“We’re delighted that S4C is shining a light on mental health problems as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, and we’re particularly grateful to our wonderful ambassador Matt Johnson for speaking out about the difficulties he’s faced. We know that when high profile people speak out about their own experiences it inspires others to do the same. Shared experiences of recovery can prompt people to ask for help with their own problems and can break down the stigma that still surrounds mental health, sparking conversations that may otherwise never have happened.
“In Mind’s own research more than 1 in 5 people* said that hearing a celebrity talk about their own experiences inspired them to start a conversation with someone around them about mental health. This shows how vital it is that those in the public eye continue to speak candidly in the media. Whatever mental health problems you are facing, remember you are not alone. We urge you to speak to your loved ones and seek help from your GP.”
In addition to these three documentaries, children's programme #Fi:Megan introduces us to 15-year-old Megan who suffers from depression and magazine programme Heno, Newyddion 9 and countryside and farming programme Ffermio will include items on mental health during the week. Also, repeats of Iselder: Un Cam ar y Tro, where presenter Owain Gwynedd speaks about the impact of depression on his family and his father and Cysgod Rhyfel, where four war veterans discuss their experiences on the battlefield revealing the psychological and emotional effects, completes the series of programmes during S4C’s Mental Health Week.
Amanda Rees, S4C’s Creative Content Director said: "Statistics show that one in four people in the UK suffer a mental health problem each year. As a public broadcaster it’s imperative that we are part of the conversation about mental health. Hopefully the programmes will help others who have or are still going through a similar experience.”
Notes for editors:
The Mental Health Foundation has hosted Mental Health Awareness Week in the second week of May since 2000.
*Annual Populus poll of over 2,000 people. Figure taken from latest survey, November 2016.