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Kyle B

Kyle B

Name: Kyle Bell
Age: 20
Year of the Fix: 2012
Location: Birmingham
Campaign: Highlight effects of living with a parent with untreated mental illness

A few years back, I began working with a friend of mine named Tom. One day he casually told me that his life could be a movie, and at the time I did not really take him seriously. But as he told me more and more about his terrible childhood - and how he amazingly coped with it - it became clear he had a story to tell.


Tom does not want to be identified, and that is understandable. He suffered lots of mental and physical abuse from his mother who suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anorexia, and depression.


Tom did not have a childhood and was forced to grow up fast. This meant that he had trouble fitting in during later life.


Now Tom has made so many improvements, and it has really impressed me. But he still feels the effects of his childhood.


Tom and I became Fixers because we wanted to show just what can go on behind closed doors, and how much of an effect mental illness can have on the lives of others. We hope our film - which reconstructs some of the experiences Tom faced - can help mental health professionals and other young people understand what goes on behind closed doors and how this can impact on a person.

‘Tom’ (not his real name) actually inspired my Fix. Here’s how he remembers growing up:


I suffered abuse at the hands of my mother throughout my childhood, which has had a big impact on how I live my life now.


My mother suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anorexia, and depression. These disorders remained untreated, and this meant she was abusive.


She was violent but not on a regular basis. It would be more when she’d hit her breaking point - for instance if I did something that didn’t meet with her regime.


I was never allowed any homework in the house, so that had to be done either in the car or in the driveway. Also used to have to keep my school uniform on a local field as she did not want school items in her house. So in the morning I’d have to get up, go to the field get changed, and wasn’t allowed to come back into the house.


I have decided to remain anonymous because it is still painful to talk about my experience, but my story is being featured by Kyle who has decided to us my experiences to create a film which alerts people to the effects living with a parent who has untreated mental illness can have.


Three friends of mine helped by playing characters in the film. You can watch the film by clicking this link

Ric Bowl, University of Birmingham
Ric is the Director of Community Mental Health Programmes at the University of Birmingham. He contributed to my film, saying: 'This gives us a chance to show what it’s really like for someone to experience the impact of parental mental ill health. I think it’ll be really useful tool for the sort of training that we offer here.'


Thank you to Bhavna Bhawsar, Zak Adams and Valerie Monk, who featured in my Fixers film and support my Fixers project. Bhavna played the part of the social worker, Zak played the part of the young boy 'Zak', and Valerie acted as the mum in the documentary drama.


The Junction

Thanks to Amber Coulthwaite, Manager at The Junction, for letting us shoot parts of the broadcast story about my Fixers campaign at the pub.

November 2013

The film about my campaign, which was broadcast on ITV News, was among nine Fixers films which won a Mind Media Award at the BFI in London.


Click here to read more about my achievement!


People who saw my film had inspiring things to say about my campaign. You can read some of this feedback below.


Ashley Fulwood, OCD UK:

'This is a really well made film, and such a moving story. I think and hope that the story and the impact on the child of someone with OCD is a minority rather than a common occurrence.'



'A moving film which shows the flaws in some of our existing systems.'



'I think this is a really powerful film, being an OCD sufferer myself I can relate to the compulsive behaviour.'


January 2013

Plans are well underway for the premier of my film in Birmingham in March. After the December news report on ITV, mental health services in Birmingham and Wolverhampton got in touch to say they are interested in using my film as a training tool. Local authorities, universities and support groups are also planning to attend, and I’ll speak at the event to encourage them to use the resource and to respond urgently to the issues it raises about mental health and social care.


You can watch the completed film by clicking play below.




December 2012

My story featured on ITV Central News – watch the broadcast here.


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