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  • Priory mental health expert to appear on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday as part of a campaign for Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson and Sky Sports Reporter Abigail Davies discuss their mental health journeys, with Priory Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Ed Burns
  • Merson, a former Arsenal and England footballer, was once a Priory patient
  • Reporter Abigail Davies has also battled mental health challenges
  • Moving conversation will be aired on Sky Sport’s Soccer Saturday programme on Saturday 20 May

Priory has teamed up with Sky Sports to support Mental Health Awareness Week 2023.

Dr Ed Burns, Consultant Psychiatrist at Priory Hospital Roehampton, was filmed in conversation with Sky Sports football pundit Paul Merson and Sky Sports reporter Abigail Davies, exploring their mental health journeys.

Merson, a former England footballer, was a Priory patient and has spoken openly about his mental health and addiction battles. He shared his story with Davies, a reporter on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday programme, who has experienced anorexia and other mental health challenges.

The moving, and intimate, conversation with Dr Burns was filmed at Priory Hospital Roehampton, one of the country’s leading rehab facilities for mental health conditions, addictions and eating disorders.

The conversation, filmed for Sky Sports’ flagship Soccer Saturday programme, will be broadcast on Saturday 20 May.

Priory is the UK’s leading independent provider of mental health and addiction rehabilitation services.

Dr Burns said: “Paul Merson and Abigail Davies share incredibly powerful and moving stories and are strong advocates of seeking out support to manage mental health issues. As Paul says in the film, anyone can suffer from a mental health crisis, so it is vital that everyone understands the signs of a problem, and knows where to seek help. For most people, the first point of call should be your GP, or emergency services if you are in crisis. The earlier you can start to recognise the problem and seek support the better.”

Priory offers free guidance on mental health concerns and options for treatment where appropriate via 0330 056 6020 or make an enquiry. For guidance on where to turn in a mental health crisis, visit our dedicated crisis support page.


Notes to editors

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About Priory and MEDIAN

Priory is the UK’s leading independent provider of mental health services. We treat more than 70 conditions including depression, anxiety, addictions, and eating disorders, as well as children’s mental health, across our nationwide network of sites. We also support adults with complex autism, learning disabilities, Prader-Willi Syndrome and brain injuries, as well as older people, as a leading provider of specialist residential care and supported living – helping as many people as possible to live their lives.   

Priory is part of MEDIAN, one of Europe’s leading providers of high-quality mental health and medical rehabilitative services. Overall, there are 430 facilities in the MEDIAN Group, comprising 307 Priory facilities with 5,364 beds in the United Kingdom caring for 35,000 people, and 123 facilities and 20,000 beds and therapy places in Germany, caring for around 260,0000 patients, with approximately 35,000 employees overall.    

MEDIAN manages patients who have experienced symptoms of COVID-19, and/or Long COVID, and shares information for medical professionals at:

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