BBC World Service are looking for people who’ve spent time on a psychiatric ward

I was contacted by BBC World Service looking to speak to me about the following programme. Considering I’ve only spent four days on a mental ward, I don’t think I’d be much help. But one of you may be, so if you’d like to speak to her, email her at lucy.williamson (at)

I work on a programme called ‘Witness’ – it’s a new kind of programme for BBC News; more oral-history than factual analysis. Each ten-minute programme is based around one person’s unique memories and perspectives of a particular event: the images that stick with them, the feelings they felt, the actions they took. This is then interwoven with some archive material for atmosphere, and a light script to give a bit of context to the topic and the speaker.

To mark National Health Day next month, I’d like to make a programme with someone who’s spent time living in a modern-day psychiatric unit. So much of our audience is still reliant on a kind of Ken Kessey image… it would be really good to get someone who’s spent a proper amount of time there, to talk about the good, and the bad, and the obstacles to adapting (and leaving)

15 Responses

  1. I spent three weeks on one, but I hate the sound of my voice on the radio. I heard it once during a competition; I hate my northern accent (yes I sound like Peter Kay!) I am sure someone will come forward for the programme though!

  2. was my only home for several months, will e-mail tonight

  3. I have sent an e-mail tonight as the hospital i stay in is nothing like one flew over.The staff are excellent and i feel better when i come out

  4. Lucy will call me tomorrow… gulp but what the heck, I can always plead insanity!

  5. I may not be much use either.
    I thought that a psychiatric ward would be an easier option than prison.
    The high point was going on a boat trip with all the other patients.
    Overall it was not a good experience so we arranged a breakout and a huge Native American tried to drop a W.C on my head but lucky for me he missed.
    Ask a sane person how can one fly over the cuckoo’s nest .

  6. i’ve spent time on quite a few of them, with at least a couple of section 2s and one section 3 in there somewhere. i might email – the only thing is it was quite a long time ago and my memory of that time is somewhat hazy, but it can’t hurt to email right?

  7. have just spoken to Lucy W, recommend that anyone with inpatient experiences over the years sends her an email

  8. The only highly amusing if not very wrong thing that happened in my stay was the fact they ran out of my anti-depressant on the ward and left me about four days without it!!!!

  9. Thanks for that. I may be able to participate.

  10. 4 days! And I once entertained the thought that you were hardcore. (How embarassing)

  11. good friend of mine being interviewed next week, will let you all know if and when programme broadcast

  12. friend has been interviewed at the beeb, will post a link to the broadcast once known

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