Football, Madness & Me

Confirmed for BBC Three on 13 August at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Tuesday 13 August



Football, Madness & Me tells the story of the unique Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) football league in which every player suffers from a mental health problem – be it OCD, schizophrenia or depression.

Throughout the PMA football season, a team of occupational therapists and coaches help players to learn key life skills, and to build confidence and self-esteem through the game of football. Filmed over a whole year, from training sessions to the hotly contested end-of-the-year final, this film for BBC Three follows three players as their teams battle it out for the cup. They all hope football can transform their lives for good.

Jamal, 27, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia six years ago. For his own safety and the safety of others, he lives in a secure hospital and is unable to come and go as he pleases. Football is his passion and he hopes that joining the league will bring him one step nearer to getting his freedom.

Twenty-one-year-old Adam started to have panic attacks two years ago and became fearful of contamination. Six months later he was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). He’s hoping that football and making new friends can help get him back to his old self.

Hayley, 28, was a child football star but stopped playing at 18 when depression took hold. She has a tendency to self-harm and is scared of succeeding. She’s hoping that by returning to the game she loves, along with helping to train others, she can regain her confidence and move on with her life.

With access to the players on and off the pitch, to their families and to one-to-one sessions addressing specific challenges around their conditions, Football, Madness & Me shows how young people with difficult mental health problems can take charge of their lives again – using an extraordinary kind of therapy.