Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health Week shines a light on the importance of children and young people’s mental health, launched by Place2Be, who provide mental health support in UK schools. It takes place from 3rd -9th February 2020 and this years theme is “Find Your Brave.” You can find lots of resources to support work around this here.

Around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem (1). In addition, many children and young people struggle with a range of challenges such as bullying or bereavement.

System Crasher

FAN New Releases supported 606 Distribution’s title System Crasher in 2020 – a portrayal of the life of chaotic 9-year-old Benni (Helena Zengel) who keeps getting expelled from one foster home after another due to her uncontrollable aggression.

Too young to be held in treatment programmes and too violent to stay in group homes, she is a ‘system crasher’ – the unofficial, controversial name given to children who slip through the cracks of the German Child Protective Services. A seed of hope appears as Benni is given an anger management trainer to help her.

The title will appeal to fans of European cinema, people interested in mental health, and young audiences. You may wish to consider screening the film, supported by The Association of Child Protection Professionals, in your cinema to explore issues raised by Children’s Mental Health Week. 

The film is available with English audio description and descriptive subtitles

Cinema and mental health

Often misrepresented, mental health stories on screen can add to stigma around mental health conditions. Taking opportunities to raise awareness, and supporting education, cinemas can screen films to broaden understanding about mental health experiences, and ignite important discussions about how we look after each other.

Screenings can be for a range of audiences, from children and young people themselves to parents, carers and professionals who work with young people. Find some ideas for film screenings and events relating to Children’s Mental Health Week on this page.

Cinema and wellbeing

The activity of visiting a cinema can be beneficial to wellbeing. You may wish to consider accessibility and support for a diverse range of audiences.

If you’re interested in running a relaxed screening, to help support audiences with additional needs in your cinema, find out more in our quick tips for running relaxed screenings. You may also find some transferable advice in our autism-friendly screenings guide. Ideally, consult with relevant groups in your area for advice and expertise on supporting audiences.

(1) NHS Digital (2018) ‘Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017.” Available at: information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2017/2017. Based on 12.8% of 5-19 year olds being identified as having a diagnosable mental health condition.                                                     

Mental Health for All by Involving All | Vikram Patel | TED Talks