Actor revisits former Northfield psychiatric hospital for documentary exploring psychosis

David Harewood and his mother visit the former Hollymoor Hospital site

A renowned actor from Birmingham revisits a former Northfield psychiatric hospital as he examines his own mental health history for a BBC documentary. 

Almost 30 years ago, as a young actor in London, David Harewood [Homeland; Supergirl; Blood Diamond] had a psychotic breakdown and was sectioned and hospitalised at the age of 23.

In the UK, psychosis will affect roughly one in a hundred people. This deeply personal and immersive film sees David piece together what happened to him. He has made the film to help himself and other people explore and understand the misconceptions around psychosis.

David Harewood and his mother visit the former Hollymoor Hospital site

In the documentary, David Harewood: Psychosis & Me, the actor retraces his journey into breakdown to try and better understand a period of his life which – although he has always acknowledged – he admits he has never examined deeply.

The film sees David reconnect with the people who witnessed his decline and revisit key places in his own story – including the site of the former Hollymoor Hospital in Northfield where he was a patient on a secure ward.

David Harewood asks his mother to fill in the gaps during a visit to the former Hollymoor Hospital site

Alongside David’s exploration of his own story, he also meets people going through mental health crises today. David spends time with combined emergency NHS mental health and police triage team in Birmingham as they respond to 999 calls to treat people in distress.

He also meets people who are living with psychosis and spends time with two inspirational young people from an Early Intervention drop in group in Solihull.

David Harewood: Psychosis & Me is available to view on BBC iPlayer until 15th June 2019

David Harewood also visited staff and patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham


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