Movies That Feature Characters Dealing with Mental Illness

Talking to kids about depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues can be tough. These movies feature characters living (and often struggling) with mental illness and can help kids understand more about this often-sensitive subject. Learning more about these conditions can help kids develop empathy and open up the doors for honest discussions.

Browse Movies That Feature Characters Dealing with Mental Illness

Benny and Joon Movie Poster Image
Quirky comedy about oddballs is edgy for a PG movie.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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The Zigzag Kid Movie Poster Image
Subtitled, sweet coming-of-age caper has mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Elizabeth Blue Movie Poster Image
Drama quietly explores a woman's mental illness.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Grey Gardens Movie Poster Image
Drew Barrymore/HBO biopic with adult themes, alcoholism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Pawn Sacrifice Movie Poster Image
Fascinating chess biopic deals with mental instability.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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A Beautiful Mind Movie Poster Image
Oscar-winning biopic is too intense for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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It's Kind of a Funny Story Movie Poster Image
Coming-of-age dramedy explores teen pressures, angst.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Thin Movie Poster Image
Gripping anorexia docu; watch with your kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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As Good as It Gets Movie Poster Image
Funny, but not a light comedy for youngsters.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1997)
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Boy Interrupted Movie Poster Image
Haunting suicide/depression docu; watch with your teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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The Dark Horse Movie Poster Image
Soulful story about chess, mental illness, and redemption.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Girl, Interrupted Movie Poster Image
Powerful look at mental illness; ages 16+.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Infinitely Polar Bear Movie Poster Image
Heartfelt drama about family affected by mental illness.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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The Aviator Movie Poster Image
Howard Hughes biopic has mature themes, violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Movie Poster Image
Classic and brilliant, but violence makes it teens only.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1975)
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Silver Linings Playbook Movie Poster Image
Offbeat dramedy mixes light and dark; some intense moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Skeleton Twins Movie Poster Image
Irreverent, mature, deeply affecting drama about siblings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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We Need to Talk About Kevin Movie Poster Image
Bleak film about disturbed teen is difficult to watch.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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