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Off Script

David Harewood Psychosis and Me

On World Mental Health Day, October 10th 2017, David shared a photo to Instagram and Twitter. He was wearing a green ribbon pin, a symbol of support for mental health awareness. Alongside the image, he posted some words of encouragement to lighten the load for anyone who might read it. The posts went viral with tens of thousands of retweets, reshares, comments and likes. David received an outpouring of love and support online, as well as some very emotional and honest messages from others who had too suffered or knew someone who had suffered from psychosis. Soon after, David was commissioned by the BBC to make a documentary looking back at the factors that influenced his breakdown and exploring what psychosis actually is. A raw, honest and highly eye-opening documentary, Psychosis and Me was released on BBC2 on the 16th of May 2019 as part of their Mental Health Awareness Season and during Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. David delved into his own experiences alongside those of others, how the NHS is impacted, and highlighting the shocking statistics that black men are disproportionately affected by mental health issues often without access to help. The documentary has helped and continues to help countless people, many of whom have reached out to David to share the positive impact it has had on their lives. David knows that he is one of the lucky ones and no longer refers to his breakdown, but rather his breakthrough.



When David is not in costume, he can often be found researching and presenting some very important and expository documentaries. He is passionate about discussing and challenging racial inequalities, and works topics from historical events to social issues and the arts.

David’s Documentaries include:

  • Why is Covid Killing People of Colour? for BBC One
  • Will Britain Ever Have a Black Prime Minister for BBC One
  • The ‘F’ Word for Sky Arts
  • Britain’s Greatest Invention for BBC Two
  • In The Shadow of Mary Seacole for ITV
  • Earth’s Tropical Islands for BBC Two




“I went for a part in Rev once. I really needed the cash and I didn’t get it. I was gutted. I remember thinking, “What’s wrong with you?” But actually, if I had got that part, I wouldn’t have been free to take on Homeland, so it’s swings and roundabouts. — ‘The first rule is that you should take nothing for granted, ever. You’re on a rollercoaster, remember.”

Will Britain Ever Have a Black Prime Minister?



David uncovers some shocking statistics in this documentary. Following the fortunes of black students through school he discovers that the chances of a black pupil getting three As or more at A level are just four in 100, compared to 10 per cent for a white pupil. If you’re a state-educated black boy, you are more likely to be excluded from school than get the top A level grades. The chances of a black child born today becoming Prime Minister of Britain are just one in 17 MILLION. “It’s deeply troubling. You have to beat these huge odds.” It’s a worthy watch.



You may have also spotted David Harewood as guest presenter for the BAFTA Awards, the Olivier Awards and on shows such as Have I Got News For You.