Movies and theater have always been a meaningful way to showcase the issues that affect us. Mental health is no stranger to films. Regardless of where you look, there’s someone out there struggling with mental illness. However, while sometimes films tend to dress up mental disorders with inaccurate or stigmatizing images, these movies about mental health are not just worth watching, but they got the issue right.
6 Movies about Mental Health Worth Watching
A Beautiful Mind
First released in 2001, A Beautiful Mind highlights the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., a mathematical scholar who lived with schizophrenia. The movie focuses on the challenges John faced throughout his life, despite his beautiful mind. Paranoia and delusions altered his promising career and affected his life deeply.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Most people don’t link mental illness with comedy. It’s Kind of a Funny Story tells the story of 16-year-old Craig, who self-checks into a psychiatric ward because of his depression. Due to renovations, the young man ends up in the adult unit. Rather than encountering “mad people” in the psychiatric unit, the film focuses on people getting help in a somewhat comedic scenario, of course.
If you’re looking for an unexpected film, this is yours. After his stay in a mental health hospital, Pat Solano is forced to move back with his parents. His bipolar disorder caused him to lose his job and wife. However, he’s determined to get his life back. During his journey, he meets Tiffany, who offers to help him in exchange for Pat to become her ballroom dance partner. The film explores what living with bipolar disorder feels like in a real way.
Marketed as a children’s film, Inside Out is a mind-blowing experience for any adult. The animated film explores the emotions inside a young girl’s mind. The film focuses on the emotions helping Riley, the young girl, manage the turmoil of moving to a different city.
Little Miss Sunshine
Another feel-good film that carries a hefty message. The movie focuses on a dysfunctional family that has faced suicide, addiction, and failure. Through their journey boundaries are broken. However, there’s a new sense of understanding between them that calls out the value of support and destigmatizing mental illnesses.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Based on the book by Stephen Chboshy, The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows 15-year-old Charlie on his struggle to fit in at school, while dealing with trauma. As the film goes on, we learn more about Charlie’s childhood trauma and his stay in a psychiatric hospital. A perfect example of the highs and lows of growing up with a mental illness.