Movies That Feature Characters Living 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 the doors for honest discussions. It might also help kids experiencing mental illness themselves feel less alone. If your kid still has questions about mental illness or you're looking for additional resources, try our Mental Health topic center and our list of Apps to Help with Mental Health.

Finding Dory Poster Image
MOVIE

Finding Dory

age 6+

Delightful sequel promotes teamwork; some sadness, scares.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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Goodbye Christopher Robin Poster Image
MOVIE

Goodbye Christopher Robin

age 10+

Poignant father-son drama deals with heavy themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
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Benny and Joon Poster Image
MOVIE

Benny and Joon

age 11+

Quirky comedy is edgy for a PG movie.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1993)
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The Caine Mutiny Poster Image
MOVIE

The Caine Mutiny

age 12+

Classic non-combat WWII drama has complex themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1954)
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The Dresser Poster Image
MOVIE

The Dresser

age 12+

Oscar-nominated British drama has drinking, iffy language.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1983)
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High Anxiety Poster Image
MOVIE

High Anxiety

age 12+

Very very funny Hitchcock spoof with some adult humor.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1977)
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Elizabeth Blue Poster Image
MOVIE

Elizabeth Blue

age 13+

Drama quietly explores a woman's mental illness.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
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The Madness of King George Poster Image
MOVIE

The Madness of King George

age 13+

Historical biopic about British king's mental health.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1994)
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Pawn Sacrifice Poster Image
MOVIE

Pawn Sacrifice

age 13+

Fascinating chess biopic deals with mental instability.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
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Rebel Without a Cause Poster Image
MOVIE

Rebel Without a Cause

age 13+

1950s James Dean teen-rage landmark still resonates.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1955)
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The Soloist Poster Image
MOVIE

The Soloist

age 13+

Memorable, sometimes gritty drama about music, friendship.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2009)
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Words on Bathroom Walls Poster Image
MOVIE

Words on Bathroom Walls

age 13+

Thoughtful YA adaptation has talented cast, heavy themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
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A Beautiful Mind Poster Image
MOVIE

A Beautiful Mind

age 14+

Oscar-winning biopic is too intense for tweens.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2001)
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Beyond the Lights Poster Image
MOVIE

Beyond the Lights

age 14+

Powerful romantic drama depicts the downside of celebrity.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2014)
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Coming Up for Air Poster Image
MOVIE

Coming Up for Air

age 14+

Mother-son message movie focuses on mental illness.

In Theaters (Release Year: 2019)
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It's Kind of a Funny Story Poster Image
MOVIE

It's Kind of a Funny Story

age 14+

Coming-of-age dramedy explores teen pressures, angst.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2010)
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Last Call Poster Image
MOVIE

Last Call

age 14+

Intensely personal, evocative drama about suicide.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
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A Tale of Love and Darkness Poster Image
MOVIE

A Tale of Love and Darkness

age 14+

Portman's biopic of Israeli writer is earnest, ethereal.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
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Thin Poster Image
MOVIE

Thin

age 14+

Gripping anorexia docu; watch with your kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2006)
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Amadeus Poster Image
MOVIE

Amadeus

age 15+

Lavish, award-winning film with mature themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1984)
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