10 must-see mental health documentaries

Mental Health

Expand your mind with these touching, striking, and fascinating watches

The mental health conversation has uncovered many vital topics over the past few years, with more and more voices sharing their personal experiences and diving into the way that it touches their own, and others’, lives.

We fight stigma when we develop a better understanding of what each of us is going through, and approach the unknown with compassion and curiosity. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 10 documentaries that shine a light on some of today’s most important mental health topics.

1. Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency

Opening up about how the suicide of his close friend, Joe Lyons, touched his life, radio presenter Roman Kemp looks into the mental health crisis among young men, and searches for answers on how we can bring down the barriers preventing people from getting help, and to support those who are struggling.

Available on BBC iPlayer

2. Professor Green: Suicide and Me

Join rapper Stephen Manderson, AKA Professor Green, as he explores a topic that’s close to his heart. Examining the events that led to his father’s suicide, and delving into why suicide has become the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, this honest documentary asks some of the most important questions of today.

Available to watch on the Real Stories YouTube channel

3. The Mum Who Got Tourette’s

It’s a mental health condition that comes with a host of misconceptions, and The Mum Who Got Tourette’s seeks to open up the conversation. Following Elizabeth, who developed Tourette’s when she was 40, and her family as they navigate day-to-day life, this documentary explores a sensitive topic with humour, and compassion.

Available on channel4.com

4. Freddie Flintoff: Living with Bulimia

In this deeply personal documentary, TV presenter and former cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff opens up about the eating disorder he lived with, in secret, for more than 20 years. Meeting with specialists and other men, together they explore the illness and the ‘double stigma’ that can often stop men and boys from opening up.

Available on BBC iPlayer

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Image by South Shore – Photographer: Lorian Reed-Drake

5. Sheridan Smith: Becoming Mum

Join actor and presenter Sheridan Smith as she invites viewers to join her on her journey to motherhood. Exploring her mental health and pregnancy struggles, and exposing the reality of these challenges, Becoming Mum will strike a chord with many.

Available on ITV Hub

6. Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out

Exploring the heartbreaking impact that online trolling and bullying had on her mental health, in this stark documentary Little Mix star Jesy Nelson invites viewers into her life, as she draws back the curtain to reveal the dark reality of cyberbullying. Joined by those close to her, who attest to the danger of social media trolling, Odd One Out puts these important topics in the spotlight.

Available on BBC iPlayer

7. Stacey Dooley: Back on the Psych Ward

In a bid to shed light on stigmatised mental illnesses, Stacey Dooley visits Springfield Hospital to meet staff and patients as they struggle with the fallout of the pandemic. Speaking to those with pre-existing conditions, and others who are experiencing mental health problems for the first time, this is a close look at the way the pandemic has touched lives.

Available on BBC iPlayer

Image-Credit--BBC-True-Vision-Productions-Ltd-Carla-Grande

Photo by BBC True Vision Productions Ltd/Carla Grande

8. The Student Mental Health Crisis

Prompted by an increase in the number of student suicides in the past year, join BBC journalist Hannah Price as she travels across the UK to speak to families and friends of students who have taken their lives during the pandemic, and explores steps that could be taken to ensure that students are better supported.

Available on BBC iPlayer

9. The Mind Explained

Ever wondered what’s really going on inside? This documentary series features leading experts, and delves into the human mind, to examine everything from anxiety to addiction, dreams, and sleep.

Available on Netflix

10. Gaming and Me: Connections, Identity, and Support

Around the world, there are a massive 2.5 billion active gamers, and during the pandemic, many people have retreated into virtual worlds for comfort, connection, and fun. That said, the long-term effects of gaming on our mental health, our relationships, and even our personalities, are hotly debated. This documentary seeks to answer some common questions, and weighs up the positives and negatives around this cultural phenomenon.

Available on BBC iPlayer


To connect with a counsellor to discuss any topics mentioned above, visit www.counselling-directory.org.uk/

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