Meldreth mental health campaigner to feature in BBC documentary

PUBLISHED: 17:29 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 20 August 2018

Edward Mallen died by suicide in 2015 - and since then his father Steve has been campaigning tirelessly for reforms in how mental health is treated. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Mallen

Edward Mallen died by suicide in 2015 - and since then his father Steve has been campaigning tirelessly for reforms in how mental health is treated. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Mallen

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A Meldreth mental health campaigner who lost his son to suicide is to appear on a BBC documentary this week to highlight the issue.

Steve Mallen is to feature on BBC Horizon: Stopping Male Suicide on Wednesday. Picture: BBCSteve Mallen is to feature on BBC Horizon: Stopping Male Suicide on Wednesday. Picture: BBC

Steve Mallen’s son Edward was just 18 when took his own life in 2015 – after which Steve formed The MindEd Trust and Zero Suicide Alliance, campaigning tirelessly to change how mental health is understood and treated both locally and at a national level.

Before the programme was aired yesterday evening, Mr Mallen told the Crow: “I think it is important that these programmes are now being made, it is important that we continue to destroy the stigma associated with mental health and suicide.

“The programme investigates this issue in great detail and looks at how we can improve health services and education and how we can prevent future tragedies.

“It was very difficult and very challenging to do, but I was pleased to on behalf of my son and on behalf of all people who are experiencing mental illness.

Steve Mallen is on BBC documentary Horizon on Wednesday evening.Steve Mallen is on BBC documentary Horizon on Wednesday evening.

“This is the very least my son would have expected of me and it’s the very least that I can do in his memory and on behalf of his generation.

“This in-depth factual documentary is designed to effect real change. So I am obviously hopeful that this programme will be yet another significant step forward in improving our understanding of mental health and preventing future tragedy across the country and internationally.”

Mr Mallen also said that while he would want everyone to watch it, he is mindful that it is challenging viewing and may not be suitable for those feeling vulnerable.

“This is a powerful and very sensitive subject it is appropriate that people who are vulnerable should approach this in the correct way,” he said.

“The nature of the subject does make this very challenging viewing so I want people to approach it accordingly and make sure they’ve got appropriate support if they feel they need it.”

Mr Mallen was filmed for four days – in Meldreth and Westminster, where he does much of his campaigning – and features in the documentary along with others, from both the UK and America, who have been affected by suicide.

He added that he is in very close discussion with the government at very senior level with regards to reforms and hopes the show will add to that process.

Horizon: Stopping Male Suicide is presented by Dr Xand Van Tulleken and will be shown on BBC2 at 9pm on Wednesday.

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