During 2016, I made a conscious decision to step back from any public campaigning or awareness work around mental health. I remained committed to fundraising, but also exhausted. Above all, I felt it was time to enjoy some privacy and focus on my own life after 3 years very much 'out there' for all to see.
I certainly had no intention of changing this, even when Jonny Benjamin introduced me to a producer working on a project for knickerbockerglory, an independent production company commissioned to do a documentary for Channel 5. However, once I'd spoken to the said producer, Mikey Trotter, I realised that this was a project in which I really wanted to be involved.
I cannot speak highly enough of the team that put together this powerful, raw and emotive documentary which aired on 1 November, and the public response was very positive. What I really liked was the blend of people; men and women, high profile (Frank Bruno and Alastair Campbell) and 'man on the street', privileged and working class backgrounds, all telling their stories in their own words.
I was very humbled by the response and grateful to have been part of a project which I think will have a very positive impact. It showed, above all, that mental illness does not discriminate, which begs the question, how can we then still live in a society which often discriminates against those who live with it? I will leave you to draw your own conclusions ...
If you have not seen Me...& My Mental Illness. It is available to watch on the Channel 5 Website.
I am in awe of all of the special people who shared their lives so openly to make a difference to those of others and it is a privilege to have worked on this great project alongside them. It was the most special Christmas gift for a few of us to meet a few weeks ago.
As we enter 2017, my intention is to again shy away from public work, focusing on fundraising and working in communities and with youngsters to nurture their ability to speak openly about their mental health,
Copyright 2016. Rohan Kallicharan. All Rights Reserved.
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