Mental health is back on the agenda this awards season as short film “Finding Wilson” garners festival accolades since it was released in cinemas earlier this year.
Starring award-winning actress Darcy Jacobs and produced by Fact Not Fiction Films, “Finding Wilson” is among a number of films distributed in the past year that have put the emphasis on mental health into the mainstream. Having secured a limited theatrical release in Britain, the film was recently entered into the official selections of the USA Film Festival and the Nevada Women’s Film Festival among others. The filmmakers behind the short have been seeking to encourage young adults to find mental health support wherever they are, and to break the stigma around seeking help.
In support of The Lucy Rayner Foundation, “Finding Wilson” joins a host of films and documentaries that are encouraging people to look after their mental wellbeing. With rates of mental illness rising nationally according to the latest statistics, the entertainment business has seen more productions touching on this issue in the past 12 months.
As we approach the Academy Awards shortlist announcement, films from around the world are vying for the spotlight in various categories from shorts to documentaries and features. Prevalent social issues including the impact of the pandemic on public health have been among some of the themes of recent films distributed in theaters.
Examples of films from previous years that have galvanized public opinion and touched on the subject of mental health include “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Black Swan,” “Rain Man” and “Good Will Hunting” to name but a few. Each film has had a cultural impact and helped to address some of the most pressing issues society is facing today.
According to recent research, up to 1 in 5 children in the US has a form of mental condition, and young adults are more vulnerable to suicide in areas where there are a lack of mental health professionals. The ongoing shortage of workers to help deal with the growing number of people requiring mental health assistance has been called “a national emergency” by a leading physician. This follows the stark reminder from the US Surgeon General about the urgent need to address the crisis.
Do you think there is enough public awareness of mental health issues and support available? Can the entertainment industry play a bigger role in increasing public awareness?