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Opening up about mental health issues – How the Beckham’s documentary is helping

Posted on October 30th 2023

How to help when mental health deteriorates:

Mental health does not discriminate, and anybody can be affected by anxieties and mental illnesses, and it is important for each of us to understand these issues. October is World Mental Health Month and provides an opportunity to bring mental health issues to the forefront of peoples’ minds.

Removing the stigma surrounding mental health is the first step into understanding how we can help people, with their mental illnesses and possibly spotting problems that may arise unexpectedly. Anyone can suffer with mental health, from family members to friends or colleagues.


New Beckham documentary encourages others to speak out

With the release of his new documentary ‘Beckham’ on 4th October, former footballer David Beckham has opened up about his own personal mental health struggles and living with his obsessive-compulsive disorder. With footage shown of him cleaning and tidying the family home and speaking about how tiring it can be to keep up with his compulsions, not only for him but also for his family. It is hoped that by such a high-profile male celebrity talking about their own struggles, this will encourage other people who are suffering to open up and seek help and support with their own concerns. So how can we all help?

How can we help?

A great start is to become familiar with the statistics surrounding mental health issues.

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind every year in England
  • 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England
  • 3 in 100 people have depression in England
  • 1 in 100 people have Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in England
  • 1 in 5 people have suicidal thoughts in England
  • 1 in 15 people attempt suicide in England

Talking about mental health

Keeping the narrative open and talking to someone is often the first step if you or another person having a hard time.
• Let them share as much or as little as they wish
• Do not try to diagnose or second guess their feelings
• Listen carefully to what they tell you
• Know your own limits on the support you can give alone

Offering practical help

If you are worried about someone, offering some practical help can relieve them of some of the everyday life duties and stresses which may be overwhelming. This can range from acts of kindness, such as helping with domestic duties, driving them somewhere, to offering to go with them to receive professional help. Do what is best for them and be proactive in offering help.

Why your support matters?

Someone may be afraid to ask for help and just by listening and understanding their issues and starting the conversation, this can often be the first step they need to seek further help.

Case study  – B’s Story

Our client’s friend B was previously a stable, confident, and loving parent. B started to appear down and sad, often becoming tearful and our client, L, tried to help them as much as possible through their anxieties. “Typical worry” became anxiety and started to affect their normal life and work.

B went to their GP multiple times and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Despite receiving medication and taking time off work, their mental health continued to decline. At one of B’s last GP appointments, it was expressed that there were significant concerns with their low mood and how B was becoming increasingly more withdrawn and not voicing their thoughts and feelings.

After these concerns became too much, they were referred to A&E to seek a mental health assessment and B was reviewed by the Psychiatric Liaison team but discharged home and told to seek advice from their GP the next day. Attending the GP again, it was noted that B remained very depressed and had been experiencing panic attacks, despite medication. B was advised that they should seek private therapy and that a referral to the psychiatric team for counselling would be made.

Due to the severity of B’s depression, they were subsequently admitted into a psychiatric hospital. Sadly, B took their own life after being left unattended.

If you, or someone you know, believe that you have received negligent mental health treatment then you may have a claim for clinical negligence and our specialist team of solicitors may be able to assist.


Call and speak to a member of our team on 01244 312306