SHORT DOCS TO WATCH: MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
This week, we're spotlighting documentaries that address mental health, whether they're focussing on the experience of living with a mental health condition, the changing attitudes and treatments, or ways to take care of ourselves and our mental health in these times of isolation and uncertainty.
Over here you can find some recommended feature-length docs to watch, and below, a selection of bite-sized shorts.
If you feel affected by any of the films please remember you do not need to struggle alone. If you or someone you know needs support there are lots of organisations that are able to help. You can find them listed them below.
SUNNY / Beth Sabey / 2015 / UK / 6 mins
A film exploring the relationship between creativity, mental illness and the power of art as an alternative therapeutic tool.
Watch SUNNY on vimeo.
THE DAY WE DANCED ON THE MOON / Tristan Dawes / 2011 / 11 mins
On Ireland’s rugged West Coast, a reggae band from London make their way to play in an arts festival. Long-term mental health sufferers, they share their tales of psychosis, the wrestling between reality and an imaginary world which can seem all too real.
We might all have our day on the moon, but sooner or later we will all come crashing down to earth…
Watch THE DAY WE DANCED ON THE MOON on vimeo.
LITHIUM: MANHATTAN, MANIC CITY / David Alvarado & Jason Sussberg / 7 mins
Focussing first on Dr. Ronald R. Fieve, the man who first introduced Lithium in the U.S. as a treatment for bipolar disorder, Lithium explores the personal life of three New Yorkers and their relationship to the mental illness, as well as their experience using the drug.
Watch LITHIUM MANHATTAN, MANIC CTY on vimeo.
HYSTERICAL GIRL / Kate Novack / 2019 / 13 mins
Due to premiere at the cancelled 2020 edition of SXSW, Kate Novack's Hysterical Girl re-examines one of Sigmund Freud’s five major psychological case histories — 17 year old 'Dora' who was brought to therapy after she accused a family friend of sexual assault.
Here, 'Dora' tells her version of events, cut alongside Freud's own words taken from published texts.
Watch HYSTERICAL GIRL on NY Times Op-Docs.
Agnes was diagnosed with dementia in her fifties. Five years have passed and she is still struggling with her new identity, and the loss of who she once was.
A film about friendship and living with dementia. Scottish Doc Institute.
Watch AGNES & NANCY on IDFA.
HOW PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA IMPACTS MY LIFE - A DAY IN A LIFE / VICE / 13 mins
Allie Burke first started seeing shadows when she was three years old but it wasn’t until she was in her mid-twenties that she was formally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Watch HOW PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA IMPACTS MY LIFE - A DAY IN A LIFE on YouTube.
FLYING ANNE / Catherine van Campen The Netherlands / 21 mins
A typical 11-year old, Anne fights with her sisters and courts a young admirer. Atypically, she compulsively twirls and licks objects. Flying Anne is a three-dimensional portrait of a girl with Tourette's Syndrome looking for love, acceptance and understanding, just like the rest of us.
Watch FLYING ANNE through IDFA here.
EVADING STAGNATION / Shannon Tarbet / 2 mins
Shannon Tarbet's Evading Stagnation was the winning entry to the March edition of our competition: A Creative Response to Isolation.
Mental Health Support Organisations:
If you’re in crisis and need support, text ‘Evelyn’ to 85258. This crisis text line will connect you to chat with a trained volunteer via text message, with the aim of helping you through until you are in a calm, safe place.
You can text free and anonymously from EE, O2, Vodafone 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
The Samaritans operate a free 24 hour support line, which is available for anyone to call - you can talk to their phone line operators about any issue, no matter how big or small.
Call 116 123
THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY (CALM)
CALM help to provide support for men who are struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts. Their free helpline is available from 5pm to midnight every day.
Call 0800 58 58 58
You can also visit the webchat page.
Mind provides advice and support to people with a mental health condition. They provide a free helpline for information, as well as a network of local services.
Call 0300 123 3393
RETHINK MENTAL ILLNESS
Rethink provide support and resources for people affected by mental health issues.