‘Mind over Marathon’ two-part BBC series follows runners with mental health problems

‘Mind over Marathon’, a new two-part BBC1 series, follows a group of 10 ‘unlikely runners’, living with or affected by mental health issues, who train to compete in one of the world’s most famous endurance races: the London Marathon. Running for Heads Together, a campaign led by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, the two films will follow their preparations in their day to day lives.

The first episode airs on BBC 1 at 9pm on Thursday, 20th April.

Presenter Nick Knowles will set out to find the 10 marathon runners – a cast of contributors with a range of different mental health issues who will help him challenge misconceptions about mental health problems.

The series will follow the group through the enormous challenge of getting physically and mentally ready for the race. The group will be put through their paces at regular boot camp sessions, to give them targeted training through a variety of mentors and experiences, as well as an opportunity to increase peer to peer support.

The programme is part of a season of films on mental health across BBC TV, radio and online.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content at the BBC, says: “One in four of us experience mental health problems in any given year and yet people with mental health issues still feel isolated and unable to talk about them. I hope this season of thought provoking programmes across the BBC will contribute to an important national conversation, challenge discrimination and tackle the stigma that continues to surround mental health.”

Alison Kirkham, Controller of Factual, says: “More than ever, people are realising the importance of looking after their mental as well as their physical health and this season of programmes explores what we can all do to look after ourselves and support others. From Nick Knowles discovering how sport or exercise can benefit our psychological well-being to Fiona Phillips finding out how best to control stress levels and BBC Three focussing specifically on mental health issues in men, I hope that this season of programmes will inspire us all to think differently about our mental health.”

Matt Pearce