Last night, BBC One broadcast the moving documentary, "Katie Price: Harvey and Me", which follows Harvey and his mum during a crucial year in his life, as he turns 18 and they start making decisions about what his future will hold.
Mencap worked with Minnow Films on the research and production of the documentary, in particular Katie’s discovery that over 2000 people with a learning disability and/or autism are currently locked away in modern-day asylums because they cannot get the right support in their community.
Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:
“Thank you to Katie and Harvey Price for sharing their story. This moving documentary has helped to show the public what life can be like for a young person with a learning disability. It brilliantly captured the joy of family life as well as the daily challenges faced. The more we understand the lives of people with a learning disability, the more open-minded, accepting and supportive we can become as a society.
"The documentary has also, we hope, reminded parents of people with a learning disability, that they are not alone.
“Turning 18 is a huge milestone in any young person’s life, but people with a learning disability and their families often face particularly difficult decisions. And the stakes are higher. With the right specialist support available in the community, people can develop important life skills, develop a sense of identity, make life-long friends, all while having their individual - and sometimes complex - needs met. But without it, there can be devastating consequences – we still hear stories of young people being sectioned and locked away in institutions that are no better than the asylums of years gone by. More than 2,000 people with a learning disability are currently kept away from their families in these units, sometimes causing trauma that they never recover from.
"We wish Harvey and Katie all the best for a smooth transition into this new and exciting phase of life and look forward to seeing what this new chapter holds for them."
Katie Price: Harvey and Me was broadcast on BBC One on Monday 25 January 2021 and is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on:
- 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
Notes to editors
There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.
Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.
Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a learning disability?
- A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life
- Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’
- People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.