Maddy was a contributor to 'Peace of Mind' a series that went out on BBC Wales at the end of last year.
Here she offers up some tips to documentary workers about what worked for her as a contributor:
- the good qualities of a researcher/ producer are listening, being patient, and not pushing too hard when the subject is difficult
- consider meeting a group of service users at the beginning of the recruitment process this can put people at ease and help to weed out people who aren’t suitable for your show
- always offer a ‘get out’ at every stage of the production process and make sure that people don’t feel pressurised into becoming involved
- make sure you are really clear from the beginning of the process about what is going to be involved. Be ready to answer questions and listen to any concerns
- it's really important for one member of the production crew to build and maintain a relationship with the contributor. It makes things far smoother and brings trust. I found that I was far more willing to be more open when the same member of the team was present.
- in our case we were working with a brilliant series producer who provided amazing aftercare once the filming was done including texts and calls on the day of the viewing to check how I was
- it's great if you are able able to give the contributor some control right up to the editing process, people are much happier to take part if they know they can be edited out!
- think about the crew you are using. Do they have empathy/ mental health awareness?
- consider including recovery messages, don't just focus on how mental health problems emerge or the lows, also show how people can recover. Details about how someone recovered may help a viewer with their own problems