June 19, 2024

Millions of people are affected by mental illness. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States live with a diagnosed condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Although mental health conditions are fairly common, they’re not often portrayed on the big screen, and the movies that do portray mental health conditions have varied in their accuracy and sensitivity, according to a joint report published in May 2019 by the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.

Some storylines seem to stigmatize mental health conditions, while others get things right and accurately depict what it’s like to have a mental health concern or care for someone who does, according to the report.

In this list you’ll find movies that discuss a wide range of issues — from anxiety and trauma to bipolar disorder, depression, suicide, and schizophrenia — but the way they’re handled is careful and accurate, experts say. Here are our expert-chosen picks.


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