Documentary filmed at St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton to be screened at international film festival

The film was chosen from hundreds of others after it impressed judges

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:24 pm

A documentary filmed at a mental health hospital in Northampton will be screened at an international film festival this weekend.

‘I’m Not Mad, I’m Me’, which follows Kayleigh, Charlie and Jo as they prepare to leave St Andrew’s Healthcare, will be shown at the Global Health Film Festival on Sunday (December 5).

The film event was established in 2015 in a bid to bring together hundreds of health advocates, filmmakers and members of the public.

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The documentary was chosen to be screened from hundreds of films after judges were impressed by the high-production values and hearing from the three main characters who were open about their journey after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The trio agreed to waive their right to anonymity because they wanted to educate people about complex mental health problems.

Kayleigh, who has been an inpatient for three years at the Northampton hospital, said: “When I first arrived at St Andrew’s I didn’t really see a future, I was that depressed.

“I want people to understand that mental health can affect anyone. I want people to realise that just because you’ve got a mental illness, it doesn’t define you as a person, it’s just a part of who you are.”

Kayleigh has bravely shared her recovery story in the documentary.

Catherine Rose, who co-produced, directed and edited the documentary and was instrumental in submitting the film to the festival, added: “I've worked on a lot of projects that feature tough subjects, but having the rare access and permission to film with these brave young people inside a secure psychiatric hospital felt important and special to be a part of.

“All three of our protagonists spoke freely about the painful journey they've experienced and how life-changing being in specialist care has been for their recovery journey.

“Having a film screened at any festival is a huge honour, but for this film to be showcased at such a prestigious and relevant event is significant as it cements mental health is firmly on the global health agenda.

“I'm so pleased that Kayleigh, Jo and Charlie's stories will inspire and reach a global audience.”

Gerri McHugh, the film festival’s founder and director continued: “To see such powerful mental health stories being told is brave, generous and wonderfully inspiring and when I saw I’m Not Mad, I’m Me, I knew we had to include it on our programme.

“Jo, Charlie and Kayleigh have shown the world there’s nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to complex mental health and together we’re one step closer to breaking the stigma that is too commonly associated with being admitted to a secure psychiatric hospital.

“I’m excited for the wider audience to be able to watch I’m Not Mad, I’m Me along with all the other engaging, creative and inspiring films we’re screening this year.”

Once the 30-minute documentary has been screened on the night, Catherine will take part in a discussion afterwards alongside Dr Peter McAllister, associate medical director for Education at St Andrew’s, who appeared in the film because he oversaw a lot of the treatment administered to all three patients.