Gemma Collins to explore Britain’s self harm crisis for Channel 4

15 July, 2021

Raw and candid documentary reveals her own painful experience with self harm as she lays bare the scale of the UK’s mental health crisis

Gemma Collins is well known for sharing her life with the public on screen. But there are some struggles she has been afraid to talk about until now.

In this brave and honest documentary, (working title Gemma Collins Self Harm & Me), Gemma reveals a new, vulnerable side to herself as she opens up for the first time about her personal relationship with self-harm.

The film (produced by Definitely, part of Banijay UK) will investigate what is behind the shocking rise in cases of self harm in the UK. In the last 10 years reported cases of self-harm have risen by 70%*, with more than a third of 16-25 year-olds in Britain reporting having self-harmed at some point in their lives**.

Meeting other people who have experience of self harm and hearing their stories, Gemma will explore how bullying, self esteem issues and the impact of social media can contribute to young people struggling with their mental health.
Gemma will hear from experts to learn how to spot signs in family and friends and learn about what support is out there for those struggling with self harm. Reliving her own painful experiences, Gemma will use this film to push for greater awareness and understanding of this all too common issue.

Lee McMurray, commissioning editor for Channel 4 said;

“Gemma Collins has taken the brave decision to open up about her own experience with self-harm. As an instantly recognisable and relatable figure we applaud her courage in revealing her own struggles, and hope this film and her insight will spark vitally important conversations around young people and self-harm”.

Rachel Arnold, Creative Director, Definitely added:

“This isn’t Gemma as a celebrity, this is a woman being her authentic self. In confronting her own demons, and trying to understand what’s behind these shocking statistics, this film will be relatable for millions of people across the country who are struggling with self harm.”

Alex Bushill, Head of Media and PR at Mind, the mental health charity, said:

“It is good to see Channel 4 dedicating airtime to exploring mental health and self-harm, as Mind’s research has shown an increasing number of young people self-harming during the coronavirus pandemic and this can be a difficult thing to talk about or seek help for.

“Our research at Mind has also shown that when people in the public eye speak about their mental health, it encourages others to do the same – as many as one in five people have spoken to a loved one as a direct result of seeing a celebrity speak out. This demonstrates how vital it is that people in the public eye continue to speak honestly about their mental health experiences, including coping mechanisms like self-harm.

“Through our Media Advisory Service, Mind is working with Channel 4 to in sure the issues covered are handled sensitively and portrayed accurately. We hope that this storyline will help to build a greater understanding of why some young people use self-harm as a way to deal with poor mental health, and that it will encourage viewers who are struggling to get the support they need.”

Gemma Collins Self Harm & Me is made by Definitely for Channel 4. It was commissioned by Lee McMurray and will be Executive Produced by Rachel Arnold and Jon Green.

The film will go out later in the year.

Source information
*British Medical Journal 2017
**Survey commissioned by Self-Harm UK, The Mix and Young Minds