BBC features Bermudian in mental health broadcasts
A Bermudian living with bipolar disorder yesterday appeared on BBC in an effort to bring attention to how mental health issues are handled in the UK.
Liana Hall, a Bermudian model and actress living in London, appeared on both BBC Breakfast and BBC News 24 to discuss a recent report by the Royal College of GPs, which found that doctors had not been given the proper training to deal with depression, stress and anxiety.
Ms Hall said she was invited to take part in the show because of her blog, ‘The Year of Celebration’, which tackles issues of mental health and her own experiences dealing with bipolar II disorder.
“A study came out yesterday highlighting the failings of GPs in their treatment of young people with signs of depression,” Ms Hall said. “I had first visited my GP in the UK when I was 14 to complain about depressive symptoms, so I have 15 years experience with the mental health system in the UK.
“I know a woman who works for BBC Breakfast and she’s aware of my blog and my passion for removing the stigma from mental illness. They asked if they could interview me and I agreed.”
She said she received the invitation late on Tuesday evening and made the trek from London to Manchester where BBC Breakfast is filmed.
“I arrived up there at 2am and was up at 6am to film,” she said. “I was shaking the entire segment but it was only meant to be national.
“After I finished filming I went to get a coffee in BBC Media City and received a call from BBC News 24 asking if I would come in again an hour later and do an interview on my own via video link to London which is ironic given that I live in London.
“So I suppose the nerves didn’t come across as they asked me back for the second interview which was aired internationally.”
Ms Hall said that when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years ago, she realised how helpful it would be if more people opened up about their issues.
“I started the blog as a way to combat my own depression,” she said. “The tag line to the blog is ‘a manic-depressive’s guide to celebrating life one day a time’. I’ve been open about it since then and my motivations remain the same — to reach out to other sufferers and help to remove the stigma of seeking help.
“Both segments were quite short but I was pleased with what I had managed to get across — that essentially as the study says GPs need to be better equipped to handle patients with signs of depression. I hope I will just continue to be able to bring attention to the issues that are close to my heart.”
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