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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Racing Thoughts
    campus 2010 | 1 h 13 min

    This is a film about children who thought they were “crazy.” Who wanted to die. Who felt fear, anger and hopelessness. Four young people living with mental illness and their loved ones make the courageous decision to open up about their stories. Their voices are complemented by that of the director, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as an adult but whose initial symptoms emerged in childhood. This film skirts the specialists’ debates in favour of a more personal tone, moving away from the alarming vocabulary of diagnoses and allowing viewers to discover the children affected.

  • 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.

  • Concussions in Youth Sports Virtual Classroom
    2016|46 min

    The NFB, in partnership with Ryerson University, presents a Virtual Classroom about sports, concussions and the pressure to play through head injuries even though mental health issues typically ensue. Mental slowing, depression, substance abuse, mood disorders… they can all show up later, causing devastating long-term effects. When coaches, medics and fans all support the culture of powering through, it’s high school athletes who are losing out—sometimes for life. We take a look at the consequences of concussions, particularly on mental health, and question the pressure to keep playing no matter what the cost.

  • 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.