Broadcaster Louis Theroux’s next BBC2 documentary – entitled ‘Mothers on the Edge’ – will be about postpartum mental illness.
‘Mothers on the Edge’ will see the broadcaster spending time at two UK specialist psychiatric units which take care of women suffering from serious mental illness, while also letting them live alongside their babies.
While on the wards, he will meet a number of mothers battling a range of issues including anxiety, depression and psychosis, which can be triggered both by the difficulties of motherhood or birth itself.
Speaking about the hour-long, one-off documentary, Louis said:
“Postpartum mental illness, like many aspects of mental health, is all too common and not acknowledged enough.
“We as a society do so much to celebrate new motherhood and to romanticise the relationship between new mothers and their babies, for understandable reasons.
“But the sad fact is, for many mums, their experience of having a baby is traumatic and they don’t experience Hallmark Card feelings of love.”
The film – set to air on BBC2 in May 2019 – will also see him following patients recovering at home, and the challenge they face.
“The women we featured in this film took a huge leap of faith in opening up and speaking to me. They bared a great deal of their souls and risked the judgement of less understanding elements of society.
“Their bravery and candour is awe-inspiring, and it was a privilege to be invited into their families during a most vulnerable period in their lives.
“I hope this film will go some way to helping normalise postpartum mental illness and stimulate a discussion on how we can best care for mothers at the time they need it the most.”