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8 Mental Health Documentaries to Add to Your Watch List

Documentaries generally help us see and understand various aspects of our world a little clearer. Meanwhile, mental health documentaries give us a window to the world within. The best mental health documentaries raise awareness on various mental health issues as well as provide us with ideas on how we can all nurture the inner workings of our minds far better. 

For those who are struggling with specific mental health issues, these documentaries help in showing them that they are not alone. The people featured in mental health documentaries can also serve as inspirations or role models for anyone suffering from specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, concurrent disorders, sleep disorders and more.

If you’re looking for a list of excellent mental health documentaries to add to your must-watch list, then here is a breakdown of highly informative, helpful, and interesting documentaries for you to check out. 

Let’s begin! 

Close-up of the remote as someone watches mental health documentaries

Must-Watch Mental Health Documentaries

Mental health is a sensitive subject that should be treated with sensitivity. Watch out for documentaries that may be triggering or sensationalist in how they present various mental health issues.

Mental health documentaries should ultimately provide reliable, educational content on mental health issues and inspire someone to take positive action. Anything short of this is likely not worth your time. 

If you or your loved one suffers from a mental health disorder, please keep in mind that though potentially insightful, mental health documentaries are not meant to substitute professional help.

1. Happy (2012)| IMDB Rating: 7.2

Happy is a 2012 feature documentary written and directed by Roko Belic. This documentary explores the secret of the most-pursued human emotion—happiness. As you watch this documentary, you will be taken to 14 different countries and gain insights from various types of people who are all on a quest to find the meaning of happiness.

2. The Stranger on the Bridge (2015) | IMDB Rating: 7.8 

The Stranger on the Bridge is a 2015 mental health documentary produced and directed by Sam Forsdike. This documentary covers mental health issues such as depression and suicide. It follows the true story of Jonny Benjamin, a man diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. He was considering taking his life by jumping off Waterloo Bridge when he was talked out of it by a stranger. 

Later on, Jonny went on a global search to find this mysterious stranger who stopped him from taking his life—and the rest of the story is for you to find out. 

3. Thin (2006) | IMDB Rating: 7.4

Thin is a 2006 HBO documentary directed by Lauren Greenfield. This documentary shows the story of four women in South Florida who are struggling with eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia. It was highly appraised for its honesty as well as its insights on self-acceptance. 

4. Simply Complicated (2017) | IMDB Rating: 7.6

Simply Complicated is a 2017 mental health documentary directed by Hannah Davis, Jeff Bierman, and Jon Chema. The documentary follows the honest and inspiring story of Demi Lovato, one of the most iconic artists of this generation. Demi opens up about substance abuse, eating disorders, and bipolar disease, as well as her story of recovery and sobriety.  

5. Me and My Mental Health (2018) | IMDB Rating: Unavailable

Me and My Mental Health is a 2018 documentary directed by Page Shepherd. It delves into the intricacies of mental health conditions such as anxiety, drug addiction, psychosis, and suicide. The documentary features the stories of radio host Iain Lee, TV host Trisha Goddard, and actor Adam Deacon.  

6. Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (2006) | IMDB Rating: 8.1 

Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive is a 2006 documentary that explores the little-known disease, manic depression. This potentially devastating disease affects numerous people. In this documentary, Stephen embarks on a quest to meet other people struggling with the same condition. It is acclaimed for being an interesting, moving, and entertaining mental health documentary.  

7. Plugged In: The True Toxicity of Social Media Revealed (2019) | IMDB Rating: 6.9

Plugged In: The True Toxicity of Social Media Revealed is a 2019 documentary produced by Neuro-Linguistic Programming master, Richard Grannon. It explores the topic of how social media affects mental health, especially that of the younger generation. The documentary explores angles such as the design of social media for keeping people hooked, the decreased face-to-face interactions due to social media, and so much more.  

8. Headspace: Unwind Your Mind (2021) | IMDB Rating: 7.3

Headspace: Unwind Your Mind is a 2021 animated and interactive documentary on Netflix that guides the viewer through their own journey towards relaxation, meditation, and sleep. Although this doesn’t take the format of other documentaries featured here, it is definitely a unique and beneficial experience for anyone who wants to foster good mental health. 

Break Free From Substance Abuse and Concurrent Disorders

Many of the aforementioned mental health documentaries touch on mental health issues such as substance abuse and concurrent disorders. Though these documentaries are extremely helpful in raising awareness, people who suffer from substance abuse need additional support. 

If you or your loved one suffers from substance abuse, we’re here to help. 

Freedom From Addiction is a world-class drug and rehab center located in Aurora, Ontario. In order to instill lasting positive change, our multi-pronged approach to treating substance abuse and helping people maintain sobriety is entirely research-backed. We offer medical detox programs for drug/alcohol addictions—as well as mental health and recovery programs

For more information about our drug addiction treatments, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. A member of our team will get back to you shortly. Contact us today!


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