Movies and TV shows that have mental health as a theme can inspire conversations, change the way you think or just entertain you for a few hours. Here are some suggestions for your movie night.
Inspired by a true story, “Paper Spiders” is a bittersweet tale about coming of age in the shadow of mental illness. The movie follows a high school senior (NAMI Supporter Stefania Owen) and her efforts to support her mother (Lili Taylor), whose paranoid delusions spiral out of control.
The movie was released during Mental Health Awareness Month to help fight the stigma around mental illness and to contribute to conversations about the need to support individuals, caregivers and families affected by mental health challenges. Their greatest hope is that viewers living through similar stories will feel less alone in their journeys when they watch the film. You can find the movie’s information and discussion guide here.
The movie is available on Amazon and all other VOD platforms.
Many Sides of Jane
In the A&E series, “Many Sides of Jane,” (Premieres Tuesday, January 22, 2019 and airs each Tuesday for six weeks) a 28-year-old mother of two, Jane Hart, who was recently diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), allows cameras into her life to follow her journey. Her more than nine identities, ranging in age from 6-28 years old, can appear at any time.
Diagnosed only three years ago, she is on a journey to understand what caused her DID as well as figure out how she can best co-exist with her many “parts.” Throughout the series, Jane will be coming to terms with past abuses that occurred during her childhood and her relationship with her family under the watchful care of her clinical psychologist. This is a raw, unfiltered look at an extraordinary young woman who is learning how to live her life again with a rare, commonly misunderstood disorder.
Touched with Fire
Touched With Fire is in theatres beginning Feb. 12, 2016. Touched with Fire stars Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as two poets with bipolar disorder whose art is fueled by their emotional extremes. When they meet in a treatment facility, their chemistry is instant and intense, pushing each other's mania to new heights. They pursue their passions, swinging from fantastical highs to tormented lows, both of which place them on the edge of disaster. They must ultimately choose between each other and stability.
Inspired by the filmmaker's own struggles with bipolar disorder, Paul Dalio wrote, directed, edited and scored his feature film debut. The film also includes performances by Griffin Dunne, Christine Lahti and Bruce Altman with a cameo by Kay Jamison, author of the book Touched with Fire, a definitive work on creativity and mental health. The film is produced by Jeremy Alter and Kristina Nikolova and executive produced by Spike Lee.
Home is an inspiring film about Jack, a man living with schizophrenia who wants to move out of the group home and into a home of his own with hopes of salvaging his relationship with his young son, reestablishing his life and achieving some sense of normalcy.
Please Like Me
After being dumped by his girlfriend, Josh, has come to the realization that he might be gay. While dealing with some of his own life changes he moves back home to help care for his mother who is batting depression.
Silver Linings Playbook
Pat is a former teacher with bipolar disorder who returns to his parents’ home after four years in a mental institution and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. He develops a relationship with Tiffany, a young woman with depression and major challenges of her own.
That Which I Love Destroys Me
This documentary is a look at the current epidemic of PTSD and severe mental trauma that create challenges for returning service members. In it we follow two former Special Ops Soldiers as they are overcoming reintegration and stigmas of mental illness.