Channel 4 series featuring mental health social worker wins BAFTA

Four-part documentary series 'Bedlam' wins best factual series award

Social worker Jim Thurkle Picture credit: SLaM

A Channel 4 documentary series that tracked the work of a south London mental health trust has won a BAFTA for best factual series.

The four-part series, titled ‘Bedlam’, included an episode where camera crews followed mental health social worker Jim Thurkle and his colleagues at one of the community mental health teams run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The programme, which screened last November, took the prize at a ceremony last week after fighting off competition from Educating Yorkshire, Keeping Britain Alive and The Route Masters: Running London’s Roads.

Matthew Patrick, chief executive of SLaM said the series was “pioneering” and “sensitively made” in its handling of mental health care.

“We took part to help raise awareness of mental illness and from the public reaction so far we have gone some way to achieving that. I am honoured we were part of it and want to thank our staff and patients for their time, dedication and commitment to the series. Now it appears that mental health is very much on the map and hopefully here to stay,” he said.

In an interview with Community Care ahead of the series’ screening last year, social worker Thurkle said the camera crew “captured the moments when all of our work comes to fruition and you get to help somebody”.

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