In this webinar, Bipolar UK ambassadors and actors April Kelley and Adam Deacon, producer Sara Huxley and entertainment attorney and screenwriter Terri Cheney discussed whether on-screen fictional characters living with bipolar help or hinder understanding of the condition.

Content warning. Both this webinar and short film mention suicide.

The discussion focussed on Channel 4’s ‘Big Mood’ 6-part comedy, the BBC drama ‘In my skin’, the episode of ‘Modern Love’ starring Anne Hathaway as well as other representations of bipolar symptoms on screen.

April Kelley releases her short film 'Just In Case'

Watch April Kelley's online release of her short film ‘Just In Case’, which is available to watch for free for a week.

If you would like support, advice and information to help manage bipolar symptoms, or to share and learn from others affected by bipolar please get in touch. You email our friendly team at [email protected], call 0333 323 3880 and leave a message or book using our chatbot; type in 'I would like to speak to someone' to view all of our available phone appointments.

speakers: 

Adam Deacon

Adam Deacon is a BAFTA award-winning actor, writer, director, producer and musician from Hackney, East London. 

Adam co-wrote, co-directed and played the lead role in 'Anuvahood', which was released in 2011 and won him the prestigious BAFTA Rising Star Award; with Time Out magazine labelling him as "The New Face of Youth Cinema". In 2015 things took a turn in his life when he experienced a breakdown and was diagnosed with bipolar.

Thanks to a combination of the right medication, talking therapy, hard work and perseverance Adam has rebuilt his life and career, and in 2023 returned to film making with his action comedy movie 'Sumotherhood' which he co wrote, directed, produced and starred in. The film was made independently but later picked up by Paramount Pictures and went on to be a box office success.

Adam is committed to raising awareness around mental health and breaking the stigma surrounding bipolar. He has been an ambassador for Bipolar UK since 2020. 


April Kelley

Co-founder of Mini Productions, April is an award-winning actress and producer who has carved out her career pioneering female talent as well as shining a light on and giving a voice to bisexuality and bipolar. After years of misdiagnosis and being prescribed the wrong medication, April was 27 when she was diagnosed with bipolar.

April's writing debut Treacle (2019) (in which she also stars) premiered at BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival. Since then she's gone on to write and star in Just in Case (2021) and Do This for Me (2022). Both films are in collaboration with Bipolar UK, the Film and TV Charity and Raising Films.


Sara Huxley

Co-owner of Mini Productions, Sara Huxley is a BIFA and BAFTA-nominated film and TV producer, and a HETV drama line producer.

Sara has produced many HETV shows, including a BBC feature-length Christmas special of Detectorists starring Mackenzie Crook. Most recently she co-produced award-winning ITV Drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office starring Toby Jones, which follows the story of Alan Bates and the notorious Post Office scandal that has swept the news this year. In 2022 Sara became a full voting member of BAFTA and was awarded a Fellowship at Rose Bruford College for her extensive work in the industry since graduating. 

Sara has a very close family member who lives with bipolar. She is passionate about mental health and creating films that raise awareness, educate and open up important discussions on how to support loved ones who live with mental illness.

Terri Cheney

As a successful entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills, Terri represented the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and major motion picture studios. But beneath her seemingly flawless facade, she was struggling with a dangerous secret: ever since childhood, Terri had been battling a debilitating case of bipolar.
 
Despite wild mood swings and repeated suicide attempts, Terri managed to keep her condition secret from everyone—but at a terrible price. Finally, in an effort to save her own life, she wrote a searing account of her mental illness. ‘Manic: A Memoir’ quickly became a ‘New York Times’ bestseller, was optioned by HBO, and translated into eight foreign languages.
 
Following ‘Manic’s’ publication, Terri received hundreds of emails from parents of bipolar children. In response, she wrote ‘The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar’ - a groundbreaking personal portrayal of the emerging phenomenon of childhood bipolar.
 
Her life story was recently adapted for the ‘Modern Love’ Amazon TV series, starring Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway as Terri. Her latest book, ‘Modern Madness: An Owner’s Manual’, is a collection of deeply personal, candid stories that illuminate the journey of mental illness, and offer hope for those with a diagnosis and all those who love, live, and work with them.
 
Terri’s writings and commentary have been featured in the ‘New York Times’, the ‘Los Angeles Times’, the ‘Atlantic’, the ‘Huffington Post’, ‘Glamour’, and countless articles and blogs, including her blog for Psychology Today, which has 1.5 million views. 
 
Terri now devotes her advocacy skills to the cause of destigmatising mental illness. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


Last updated: 16 July 2024