Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder: The Big Clear Out
4 Goes Mad is a bold season of prime-time programming challenging mental health stigma and discrimination. As part of the season, this documentary meets Richard Wallace once again, whose moving story was seen last year as he struggled to overcome the hoarding that had taken over his life, with help from his community.
Last year, chronic hoarder Richard Wallace was living in squalor. His hoarding was so out of control that his own life was in danger. Mountains of papers and packaging filled his home from floor to ceiling and, worryingly, surrounded his gas cooker where he made his boiled eggs and toast. Richard was shunned by many of the local residents of Westcott Village until landscape gardener Andy Honey offered to help. Becoming Richard's closest friend, Andy rallied the village to help clear over 60 tons of rubbish from Richard's garden.
Six months on and Andy is still by Richard's side. Now they are trying to deal with the bigger problem of clearing Richard's home to make it safe, but Richard can't let anything go. Inside the bungalow the dangers have gotten worse and he now has an extraordinary ‘death tunnel' in his kitchen that he has to crawl through every day. Progress is slow and despite Andy's best efforts the local NHS mental health team for professional support were called in. Lead by Clinical Psychologist Sophie Holmes, they visit Richard to make an assessment.
Opinions in the village about Richard are mixed. Some residents want to cook him meals and help clear the house, but others are frustrated by the on-going mess and cost to the local council. When Andy and Richard's friendship takes an unexpected twist, some locals call into question Andy's motives for helping.
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