One of Action Mental Health’s senior managers has offered insight into the experiences of those living with schizophrenia, following BBC soap EastEnders’ storyline on a character living with the mental illness.
Colin Loughran, Service Manager with AMH New Horizons Craigavon & Banbridge, AMH everyBODY, and AMH MensSana, previously worked for 12 years as a service manager for the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, now Rethink.
During an interview on the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme, when a local woman living with the condition offered her experiences, Mr Loughran also spoke of the ‘sensitive’ way in which the television show had treated the sensitive issue.
He said popular shows like Eastenders helped to “create better awareness” and helped to “give opportunities to organisations like Action Mental Health to create better education among individuals and society”.
Mr Loughran said shows like this work well to address stigma. “And the stigma is one of the biggest reasons why people who experience issues do not seek the support that they need, so it encourages people who experience severe and enduring mental illness to talk about their experiences and then get the subsequent support that they can get from statutory services or from organisations like Action Mental Health.”
To hear the full interview, listen from around 55:30 minutes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000yc81