Our Top 5 Mental Health Wins of 2016

2016 is coming to an end, and Safe Cinemas is at its very start. What better time than now to recap some of our favourite mental health successes of this year?


1.) Roger Ross Williams and Errol Morris bring Owen Suskind’s amazing story into the public eye and win awards at film festivals across the U.S.


From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. See the trailer here


2.) Tackling the Blues sports programme that helps children who are at risk of developing depression wins ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ award at the Times Higher Education Awards.


The programme is run in partnership with Everton in the Community (the official charity of Everton Football Club) and Parenting 2000, with funding provided by the NHS Southport and Formby, and NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Have a look at their Twitter here


3.) Scarlett Raven augmented reality painting One in Four raises £13.5K for Mind Charity at their Mind’s Gala Dinner aucion.


Scarlett chose to support Mind after experiencing severe anxiety for a number of years. The name of the portrait, ‘One in Four’ references the fact that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. Augmented reality invites the viewer to scan the finished painting using an app called Blippar. The app strips away the layers of paint to reveal the creative journey beneath. Find her website here


4.) The Bollywood coming-of-age film Dear Zindagi directed by Gauri Shinde aims to break down the mental health stigma in Indian culture.


“Dear Zindagi” (which translates as ‘Dear Life’) tells the story of a young cinematographer who struggles with commitment issues and insomnia. She decides to see a therapist who links her troubles and her frosty relationship with her parents to unresolved childhood issues. Watch a teaser trailer (with English subtitles) here

And last, but by no means least:

5.) Mind and Comedy Central team up to give comedians with mental health problems a chance to show their work in their campaign Performance Anxiety.


Laughter is sometimes the best way to cope for lots of people with mental health issues and the comedians who performed show just how frustrating mental health can be in an engaging and humorous way. A big thanks to the comedians: Felicity Ward, Ivo Graham, Andrew Ryan, Suzi Ruffell, Caroline Mabey, Lou Sanders, Angela Barnes, Tom Allen, Sofie Hagen and Ben Target. You can find a playlist of all the performers’ sets here.


Here’s to a 2017 filled with even more brilliant wins for mental health champions.


Did we miss someone? Leave your submissions for best mental health moments of 2016 in comments or tweet us at @SafeCinemas





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