Teenage is one of the most tumultuous phases of one’s life. Along with an avalanche of physical and psychological changes, one also faces a range of extreme emotions including buried anger, angst, and hate when life throws unexpected challenges at them. When such negative emotions intensify and situations feel out of control, the teens spiral down the rabbit hole. That is where the mental health issues begin, and most of the time stay unacknowledged. According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Data Summary & Trends Report: 2011-2021, nearly one-third of all US high school students suffered from poor mental health in 2021 and one in five seriously considered attempting suicide.
Movies And TV Shows Highlighting Teen Mental Health
In order to bring attention to teen mental health and address the concern, multiple TV shows and movies are being made and broadcast. Here are five such movies and web series where the idea is to shed much-needed light on teen mental health issues.
Starring Ronit Roy, Rajat Barmecha, Ayaan Boradia, Ram Kapoor, and Manjot Singh, Udaan is a cult classic that follows 17-year-old Rohan and his pursuit of becoming a writer. Expelled from a prestigious school, Rohan finds himself returning to his alcoholic and abusive father in Jamshedpur. His father has no regard for his dreams and aspirations and leaves no chance to humiliate him. The film explores the themes of anger, angst, and rebellion that get sown into a teen’s mind when their emotional needs aren’t getting fulfilled.
Also Read: What Is Anxiety And How To Deal With It?
Ginny & Georgia
Following 15-year-old Ginny Miller, her 30-year-old mom, Georgia, and half-brother Austin, Ginny & Georgia is a perfect portrayal of the emotional conundrums a teen finds themself in. The show explores themes like depression, anxiety, self-harm, and body image issues, along with the daily struggle to find one’s identity and try to fit in. What makes this show stand out is the fact that it also focuses on parental mental health and how that affects the family dynamic.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Based on the book by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower follows Charlie as he navigates through his freshman year of high school. Coming out of clinical depression, Charlie starts out at a high school as a new chapter of his life. However, little did he know that he had been repressing a very heartbreaking trauma underneath. The movie explores some very strong themes like identity crisis, anxiety, depression, and sexual abuse.
Also Read: Signs Of Mental Illness In Children
13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why was one of the most anticipated series of 2017. It follows Clay Jensen, a student at Liberty High as he tries to accept the death of a fellow student, Hannah Baker. Two weeks after Hannah’s suicide, Clay receives a box of tapes that Hannah recorded prior to her death, explaining the thirteen reasons why she did so. The story sheds light on the themes of suicide, bullying, and sexual abuse and how they can affect a person’s psyche.
Degrassi is a Canadian teen drama that follows a big group of high school students and the way they navigate through their day-to-day lives. What makes Degrassi stand out is that it has been on air on and off from 1979 to 2017 and has managed to adapt to the times effortlessly. The series has touched on some very serious topics like peer pressure, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide.
The representation of mental health and related issues in mainstream media is really crucial, especially in today’s time. The visual representation helps break down the stigma around it and helps the viewers understand how deep such issues go and the repercussions that come when mental health gets ignored.