Mind praises groundbreaking documentary opening eyes and ears to hearing voices
Posted Friday 18 April 2008
The doctor who hears voices
Channel 4, Monday 21 April 10pm
The work of maverick psychologist and Mind Champion of the Year Award nominee Rufus May is the focus of a groundbreaking new documentary on mental health to be shown on Channel 4 on Monday. The doctor who hears voices challenges the stigma and prejudices that so commonly surround mental health problems like schizophrenia, and shows that it is possible to lead a full life and a demanding job while managing your mental health issues.
Mind congratulates Channel 4 on tackling one of the most unfair taboos of modern society. Finally, following BBC documentaries such as Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive and the recent Sport Relief film Surviving Suicide, we are beginning to see TV coverage that shows the reality of the one in four people who will face mental health problems in any one year.
This documentary focuses on Rufus' treatment and support of Ruth, a junior doctor who is suspended from her job after she starts to hear a voice telling her to kill herself. It follows their 18-month journey as Ruth is determined to become well enough to retain her job and manage her voice and health problems, showing Rufus' unconventional approach to treating his patients including rejecting medication in favour of therapy, and opposing the singular diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Rufus is not only a leading expert in the field of psychology he also speaks from personal experience. At 18, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and told he would be taking medication for the rest of his life. Rufus quickly decided that his experience would not hold him back and against his doctor's advice came off his medication and trained as a clinical psychologist. He is now revered in his field and has recently been nominated for the Mind Champion of the Year Award 2008 for his efforts to improve public understanding of mental health issues.
Mind's Head of Media Relations Claire Ashby said: "This is an eye-opening documentary that challenges traditional perspectives about the treatment of mental health problems. Rufus' pioneering approach gets remarkable results and shows that people can recover to lead a full life. It's excellent that Channel 4 has dedicated a primetime programme to this controversial subject and we hope it will raise public awareness and understanding about what it's really like to live with the experience of hearing voices."
Notes to editors
The Mind Champion of the Year Award celebrates the work of people who have challenged stigma and contributed to a greater understanding of mental health issues.
The Mind Champion of the Year winner will be announced on Thursday 15 May at the Mind Awards ceremony at Kingsway Hall Hotel, London, hosted by Mind’s president Lord Melvyn Bragg. Other Awards presented at the event include Mind Book of the Year, Journalist of the Year and Student Journalist of the Year.
For more information or to arrange interviews please contact the Mind press office on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: email@example.com. ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817.
Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.
Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case, not caps.