A Film About Sex, relationships and Mental Health

The sexuality of people with mental health problems raises important clinical, social and legal concerns. Despite this, there is relatively little written about the subject and staff can feel confused and embarrassed when discussing these issues.

Mental health problems may interfere with peoples’ sexual function. For example, depression is typically associated with decreased sexual interest, libido and sexual performance, whereas mania is associated with disinhibition, sexual inappropriateness and heightened sexuality. Practitioners are aware that psychiatric medication can interfere with sexual function, yet service users sometimes feel that these matters are ignored or discounted.

Sometimes, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service users feel poorly treated by services. This is perhaps not surprising, given that for many years psychiatry considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder.

“Unspoken” explores these issues, with service users explaining their experiences. A range of other experts discuss how professionals might respond differently, and models of good practice are presented.

The film is available in DVD format.

Cost: £35


Running time: 27 minutes

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This startling and original film tackles head on an issue shrouded in taboo: sexual and intimate relationships for people with mental health problems. It deals with many of the complex aspects in a highly sensitive and challenging way, and exposes the overlapping layers of stigma often felt by people with mental health problems trying to repair or renew terms of intimacy as a part of the path to recovery. This is an important film for all mental health staff to see, discuss and act upon to promote full social inclusion.

Professor Graham Thornicroft – Institute of Psychiatry.

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