In April 2017, mental health charity Mind revealed that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, and 1 in 6 people in England experience a common mental health problem such as anxiety and depression in any given week. There is undeniably a mental health epidemic going on in the UK, and it needs to be addressed. For some, the arts (from literature to painting to music) are a great way to understand and process the complexities of mental health, and documentaries about depression and mental health conditions can be especially powerful in raising awareness about specific conditions, as well as helping those who are suffering with them.
Documentary film is a particularly poignant medium through which to explore mental health, as it allows viewers to see real-life people as they set out to understand and, sometimes, overcome the conditions they are dealing with. Below are five documentaries that have helped to move the conversation about mental health forward, and have allowed viewers to gain greater insight into certain conditions through the personal experiences of others. Some of these documentaries feature famous faces, and some focus on the lives of those outside the public eye, but each film has its own unique and important story to tell.