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Mental health and possession discussed in BBC Newsnight feature

Professor Swaran Singh, Head of the Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Warwick Medical School, will tonight appear on BBC Newsnight (10.30pm, Monday 19 November) as part of a segment that discusses the idea of possession and Jinns in British ethnic minorities.

The feature, that will also be broadcast on BBC Asian Network (9.00pm – 9.30pm, Monday 19 November), sees journalist Catrin Nye interview a range of people; from individuals who believe themselves to be possessed, to the CPS, to an exorcist. Professor Singh provides expert insight into how belief in possession and the supernatural relates to medical treatment of mental health issues.

Professor Swaran Singh concludes: “The real problem is if there is a delay in getting appropriate care. We know that there is a kind of window of opportunity: the earlier you treat symptoms, the better the outcome is. Untreated mental illnesses can be a big risk, and if the religious process is an alternative to medical treatment that is certainly dangerous.”

The story also features on the BBC website.