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Stacey Dooley: On The Psych Ward

Duration: 2 x 52'

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Stacey goes to work in Springfield Hospital, one of the oldest mental health units in the UK, to see what life is really like on the front line of mental health services.

More than just observing, she will be working directly with staff, dealing with patients, and taking part in making incredibly tough decisions on what is best for patients. 

Episode 1 - Stacey Dooley: On the Psych Ward 

Stacey meets Rachelle who has been diagnosed with EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder).  Still in her 20s, she’s had a troubled life already - full of suicide attempts and self-harm. She opens up to Stacey about her struggles with her illness, and her hope that she will soon get the talking therapy that she believes could be the solution to her problems. The doctors here agree that this is not the best place for Rachelle to be, and they are hoping she will get a place at a specialist unit where she can make real progress in coping with her condition. 

Stacey also spends time in a special acute assessment unit where patients can self-refer.  She meets 19-year-old Kyle, who has come to Springfield in the midst of a severe depression and incident of self-harm. As Stacey takes part in a discussion with staff about whether to admit him to the hospital or support him in the community, Stacey experiences for herself just how difficult the decisions and the judgement calls are that the team have to make.

Police have brought Laura to the 136 unit, so called because it is the local designated place of safety as defined under section 136 of the Mental Health Act. She has been sectioned after being found on a motorway bridge, threatening to jump.  She opens up to Stacey as they talk, trying to explain her thinking and her ongoing struggles with depression and her eating disorder – all stemming from traumas earlier in her short life.

Episode 2 - Stacey Dooley: Back On the Psych Ward 

Stacey meets Coral, who is brought into Springfield by the police one night after attempting to take her life. Coral tells Stacey and the team about her long-running battle with anxiety and depression which she attempts to self-medicate by drinking alcohol. Stacey also meets Oskar, a 20-year-old university student whose struggle with intense suicidal thoughts brings him into the hospital in crisis. 

Suziee is diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, which causes extreme highs and lows to her moods. But with her therapy now cancelled, she is struggling to cope on her own and turns to the hospital for help.   

Stacey also gets to know 21-year-old Ali, an inpatient at Springfield, which is home to the only inpatient unit of its kind in the country for those with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Since childhood, Ali’s OCD rituals have changed from repetitive tapping during stressful exams, and blinking to keep her parents safe in the car, to extreme bathroom routines. For severe OCD cases like Ali’s, this ward is her last chance at beating this devastating condition, and over the months Stacey sees a dramatic change in Ali’s obsessions.

What the Press Say:

Daily Mail, Haley Richardson - "Stacey Dooley admits she's suffered from anxiety and panic attacks as she opens up about her mental health for the first time while speaking to a patient with psychosis in her latest documentary"

Awards:

Grierson Awards Nominee for Best Presenter

For BBC2 / BBC3

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