Don’t Call Me Crazy

Confirmed for BBC Three on 24 June at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Monday 24 June



The McGuinness Unit in Manchester is one of the largest teenage mental health inpatient units in the country – and a place of last resort for many adolescents with eating disorders or psychosis, who self-harm or are suicidal.

While some of the young patients agree to stay voluntarily undergoing treatment here, others have been detained against their wishes, sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Filmed over the course of a year and with unparalleled access, this series follows teenage girls and boys at the unit as they battle to turn their lives around.

More than half a million young people across the UK are being treated for some kind of mental illness, and over 3,500 teenagers passed through inpatient units like this last year. This series offers a chance for young patients to tell us what it’s really like to live with mental health issues - through the good times and the bad - and dispel the myths, preconceptions and taboos of mental illness.

Don’t Call Me Crazy launches It’s A Mad World - a season of films on BBC Three looking at a range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today, from schizophrenia, OCD, eating disorders and self-harming to dealing with family members affected by mental illness.

Among those featured in the first episode of Don’t Call Me Crazy is Beth, 17, who has recently arrived at the McGuinness Unit. Beth loves dancing and gymnastics, and often seems happy and extrovert. But appearances can be deceptive, as Beth has depression, self-harms and has an eating disorder. As her difficult relationship with food worsens, the staff are forced to take drastic action.

The film follows Beth and other teenage patients over the weeks and months of inpatient treatment. But their recovery is not just about therapy and medication. It’s also about the relationships the teenagers forge with one another during their time on the ward at a time when a problem shared can be a problem halved.