Understanding Mental Health in Youth and Adults

Understanding Mental Health in Youth and Adults

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, it is estimated that 10% to 20% of Canadian youth are affected by mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

This playlist of films on mental health can be used to start a conversation with youth; or for your own professional and personal development.

  • Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia
    2019|23 min

    What is fatphobia and what can be done to overcome it? With poetic illustrations and painful, compelling testimony, Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia offers multiple examples of the psychological effects of weight-based discrimination and bullying on adolescent girls.

    Mini-Guide

  • The Song and the Sorrow
    2018|42 min

    Musician Catherine MacLellan—the daughter of Canadian singer/songwriting legend Gene MacLellan—grew up surrounded by her father’s music. He died by suicide when she was 14. Two decades after his loss, Catherine is finally ready to confront the hurtful mystery of her absent parent and embrace his musical legacy.

    The Song and the Sorrow follows Catherine as she journeys to understand her father and face her own struggles with mental illness. Through archival footage and intimate interviews with friends, family members, and musicians who knew and played with Gene—including Anne Murray, Lennie Gallant, and the late Ron Hynes—the film reveals a troubled and loving man who was never at ease with fame or money.

    Catherine is determined to lift the oppressive burden of silence that accompanies the stigma of mental illness and hopes that others can take strength and solace from her story.

  • A Dark Room
    2016|52 min

    A Dark Room is a documentary told through the stories of professional hockey players, physicians, and fans of the game. A Dark Room offers an uncompromising, gritty, and science-based look at how hockey culture, and the stigma that it perpetuates, is contributing to a concussion and mental health epidemic.

  • Beyond the Blues: Child and Youth Depression
    2004|56 min

    Statistics reveal that depression in children and youth is on the rise. In fact, it has increased by one-third in the past 30 years. Untreated depression costs a teenager in many ways: lost eductional opportunities, lost social opportunities and lost time.

    Through the personal stories of three young people, this compelling documentary traces the journey of depression, from early signs and symptoms, to assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The documentary also helps shatter some stereotypes.

    This powerful 3-part series on child and youth mental health sheds light on the current situation and offers practical tools to understanding the problems and knowing where to find solutions. Depressed kids don't just have a bad attitude--they have an illness. And the illness is treatable.

    The two other titles in the series are Fighting their Fears: Child and Youth Anxiety and A Map of the Mind Fields: Managing Adolescent Psychosis.

  • A Map of the Mind Fields: Managing Adolescent Psychosis
    2004|56 min

    Until recently a diagnosis of psychosis was seen as the end to normal life. With onset occurring most often in youth from 13 to 25, this serious mental health disorder often has tragic consequences when undiagnosed or improperly dealt with.

    Psychosis is a brain disorder where an individual experiences some loss of contact with reality. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and disorganized thoughts and speech. Three people share their personal stories: Amanda, 16, Max, 12, and Tara, 18.

    This powerful 3-part series offers practical tools to understanding the problems and finding solutions to mental health problems among children and youth. The two other titles in the series are Beyond the Blues: Child and Youth Depression and Fighting Their Fears: Child and Youth Anxiety.

  • Struggle for Control: Child and Youth Behaviour Disorders
    2005|57 min

    Struggle for Control: Child and Youth Behaviour Disorders is the fourth in a series of documentaries focusing on mental health issues facing BC's children and youth. Following the stories of four BC youth, this documentary sheds light on the causes, symptoms, community resources, and treatments of three of the most commonly-diagnosed behaviour disorders: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder.

    Through these moving personal stories, viewers see how behaviour disorders affect the life of a child at home, at school, and the whole family. Struggle for Control debunks the myth that children with behaviour disorders are bad kids whose behaviour is irreversible. Behaviour disorders are treatable, and the key is early detection and early intervention.

  • XO RAD Magical - Hothouse 12

    XO Rad Magical is a personal lyrical poem about the daily struggle of living with schizophrenia. This psychedelic and hypnotic film shows that there is beauty in the brains of those who are at war with themselves.

    Produced as part of the 12th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship.

  • Lipsett Diaries
    2010|14 min

    This animated short by Theodore Ushev depicts the maelstrom of anguish that tormented Arthur Lipsett, a famed Canadian experimental filmmaker who died at the age of 49. His descent into depression and madness is explored through a series of images as well as sounds taken from Lipsett's own work.

  • She and I
    2008|6 min

    This short film is inspired by a stormy same-sex relationship in the Manawan community of the Atikamekw Nation, which led to a suicide.

    Since 2004, Wapikoni Mobile has been giving Indigenous youth the opportunity to speak out using video and music. This short film was made with the guidance of the traveling Wapikoni Mobile studios and is part of the 2007 Selection—Wapikoni Mobile DVD.