If you’re interested in learning more about mental health, there are many documentaries out there to watch. From educational documentaries about different mental health conditions to programs which go into detail about the lives of people who have suffered from mental health issues, there is no shortage of documentaries to add to your list.
Documentaries can help viewers to understand more about mental health and challenge some of the stigma that exists in society. They can also help you to develop a deeper understanding of mental health so you can teach others or better relate to those around you suffering from a mental illness. We’ll look at some of the mental health documentaries you should add to your watch list.
Table of Contents
- 1. Kingdom of Us
- 2. Simply Complicated
- 3. The Stranger on the Bridge
- 4. Lucy: Breaking the Silence
- 5. Of Two Minds
- 6. Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness
1. Kingdom of Us
This documentary follows the family of Paul Shanks, who died by suicide in 2007. He left behind his wife Vikie and their seven children, four of whom are autistic.
Kingdom of Us deals with a range of mental health issues which are cross-cutting due to the different challenges presented. This documentary considers the life of somebody like Paul Shanks, who seemed like a happy father yet struggled with depression. It follows the grief of Vikie Shanks and the challenges she then faced as a single mother looking after seven children, who also experienced their own struggles.
2. Simply Complicated
Released in 2017, Simply Complicated gives the world more insight into the life of Demi Lovato and their struggles with bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and drug addiction.
The documentary hears from members of Lovato’s family, as well as some of the people they worked closely with. It takes a closer look at Lovato’s upbringing and talent from an early age, and the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father. This is a must-see for anyone interested in mental health documentaries particularly from the perspective of a celebrity.
3. The Stranger on the Bridge
Jonny Benjamin intended to take his own life when he walked to Waterloo Bridge in London one winter’s day in 2008. He was saved by a man named Mike, who talked him out of it and made sure Jonny – who suffered from schizoaffective disorder – got to hospital safely.
Using the power of social media, Jonny decided to launch a campaign to find the man who helped him that day. The documentary, The Stranger on the Bridge, tells the story of Jonny’s efforts to find Mike, and how one act of kindness can have a positive ripple effect for years.
4. Lucy: Breaking the Silence
Lucy Rayner was 22 years old when she died by suicide. This documentary shares some detail of the moments before her death and hears from some of the people in her life to whom she was closest. It explores the grief felt by the people left behind when someone takes their own life and looks closer at why young people like Lucy are driven to the point of suicide.
5. Of Two Minds
This mental health documentary was released in 2012 and considers the challenges of people living with bipolar disorder. In the documentary, director Lisa Klein shares her own personal story about her sister Tina who also had bipolar.
One of the mental health documentaries which gives an insight into the lives of people with bipolar, it has been credited with helping people understand this disorder more. It goes into detail about the lives of three people, offering insights into this common yet life-changing disorder.
6. Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness
This hour-long documentary released in 2005 hears from people living with mental health conditions as well as advocates and experts working in this field. People tell their stories about living with a mental illness and how they navigate the challenges of society.
Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness is one of the more positive and hopeful mental health documentaries. It shows how people have managed to overcome challenges and change their lives despite their struggles.
Whether you are struggling with your own mental health or want to understand more about others, there is no shortage of documentaries on mental health to explore. The documentaries available cover a wide range of issues, making it easier to find something that appeals to you.