Mental Health Awareness Week 2023: Anxiety-themed films

10 May 2023

6 mins
Eighth Grade (2018)
Eighth Grade (2018)

Mental Health Awareness Week (15 - 21 May) is just around the corner and this year's theme is Anxiety; a normal emotion in all of us but sometimes one that can get out of control and become a mental health problem.

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, this period is a chance to take part in a nationwide conversation where everyone can share their own unique experiences and find ways of protecting their mental health and managing anxiety.

As always, film can be an incredibly effective way of broaching these difficult conversations with young people in an open and accessible fashion. Below, we've collected a wide variety of anxiety-themed feature films, shorts and documentary titles that are freely* available on Into Film+. This is together with a few of our favourite youth-made shorts that are more directly relatable for your pupils and can encourage them to use filmmaking as an outlet for their own mental health.

Feature Films

Feature Films (Into Film+ Premium)

Into Film+ Premium is an extension of our streaming service for schools in England that are funded by the Department for Education, offering an extended catalogue of 500+ new releases, classic films, documentaries, and TV programmes.

Documentary Titles from ERA (The Educational Recording Agency)

Short Films

Youth-Made Shorts


How does it feel to have autism and ride on a busy train? This brilliant Into Film Award winning stop-motion animation explores what it feels like when an everyday situation begins to feel a bit too much.


A student, Brooke is starting to unravel under the pressure of her GCSE exams. Desperate to escape her mounting anxiety she tries in vain to get her busy mother's attention. Her anxiety mounts as the appointed hour of her exam approaches. The resulting crisis leads to a way forward with her exams and a new understanding with her mother.

Driven to Despair

In this Into Film Award winning short, a teenager with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) works hard to stick to situations she can control, but finds herself thrown when she misses her bus stop, and must find a way to cope with the rising panic and stay calm.

*Screenings for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a PVS (Public Video Screening) Licence from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVS Licence.

Into Film and the Into Film+ streaming service is supported by the UK film industry through Cinema First and the BFI through National Lottery Funding, thanks to National Lottery players. Since the very first National Lottery draw in 1994, public support - raised directly through National Lottery ticket sales - has funded more than 670,000 projects, raising more than £46 billion for good causes.

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