Mental Health Awareness Week is October 1st to the 7th.

Mental Health Awareness Week offers the opportunity to raise awareness and compassion for those living with mental health issues. Current global challenges are escalating among those suffering from anxiety and depression, particularly among youth and marginalized communities.


It is crucial then, now more than ever, to foster resilient citizens by providing positive role models. Our featured heroes contribute to the well-being of others through their triumphs in the face of mental illness, as well as through research, a commitment to education and advocacy, and personal connection. 

Film Festival winners that promote mental health and wellness

Ministry of Surf

By: Collins Reagan
Healing power of surf

Wellness Doc

By: Simone & Kamila
A documentary about wellness made by 6th graders at Pacific Elementary mentored by Wendy Milette.

Mental Health Awareness

Andy Crisp
Bringing awareness to mental health in Laguna Beach Unified School District.

The Space Between Us

Produced by:Phil Collis
A radical somatic dialog about race and gender.

Building a Shower Trailer for Chico's Houseless on a Budget... of Love!

Produced by:Respectful Revolution
This video is one of the latest from the Respectful Revolution project that is dedicated to documenting humane solutions to our world's many challenges.

Eva Haller Salon (excerpt) - Covid-19 & Mental Health with Ellen Haller

Produced by:Eva Haller
In this Zoom salon, Ellen Haller, a professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, discusses the impacts of the pandemic on mental health and provides advice for how cope with these challenging times.

In this short, award-winning film, Coach West helps navigate you through the emotional fallout of COVID-19 with helpful tips.

Staying Well with Coach West

Produced by:Carolyn Hodge-West, Jessica Ordaz, Emma Garcia, Nicole Petrovsky, Je...
Coach West helps navigate you through the emotional fallout of COVID-19 with helpful tips.

Other great films in the theme of mental health and wellness

Power of Compassion & Importance of the Work of CCARE

CCARE at Stanford University
Dr. James Doty, speaks on the power of compassion and importance of the work of CCARE


By: Goldie Hawn & MindUp
A short film that explores what's happening in the teenage brain, illuminating that teenagers are emotionally brilliant super-learners.

Minimum Max

Produced by:Joshua Ovalle
A brief and powerful first-hand account from high school student, Max, who must navigate through the world of ADD and all the medications that come along with it.

Jeni Stepanek Accepts the 2016 Humanitarian Award

Producer: Jeni Stepanek

Jeni Stepanek, mother of poet Mattie Stepanek, who died at the age of 13 from dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, a condition similar to muscular dystrophy. She shares his message of peace, hope and life as she accepts the 2016 Humanitarian Award.

Mutual Rescue: Eric & Peety

Produced by:Dir. Advocate Creative

Eric weighed 340 pounds and his doctor told him he had 5 years to live. Then he met Peety—and everything changed. 


Producer: Anson Schloat and John G. Young

Liz Murray overcomes her difficult childhood to win a scholarship to go to college.

Watch these award-winning, inspiring films from the MY HERO 2021 International Film Festival exploring overcoming adversity

Do You See Rainbow?

Kitty Richardson
An insight into autism from the perspective of someone with autism.

BYkids Trailer: FAITH’S WORLD

Faith Guilbault
Faith Guilbault (age 16) has cerebral palsy and invites us to experience living with special needs so we can all treat being differently abled with humanity and normalcy.


Angelika Fürstler, Austin Ahlborg
The Lotus flower is regarded in many cultures as a symbol of rebirth, growth and transformation.

TRANSPARENCY: Becoming Oliver

Tessa Grace Morell
Experimental short film made to visually accompany the original poem "Becoming Oliver" written by Oliver Marino.

I Have Four Parents

Daniel Roy
This video is a magical rendition of the story of my very unique four-parent family. Everything I talk about in the video is true, and these are the answers to the questions I most commonly get asked.

As An Asthmatic

Alayna DeGraef, Elise DeGraef, and Bailey Revering | In-Progress
A video short about the impact of vaping on youth.

The Quiet Classroom

Sofia Junco | STEAM Academy
This is a a video poem that depicts the empty feeling of the situation and how eventually we will grow and return to the wonders of education.


‘Built from nothing’: One country’s homegrown mental-health care

By: Brenna Daldorph - CSM Contributor


These heroes help destigmatize mental illness by sharing their own struggles. They help show those struggling in the shadows that they are not alone.


Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

By: Jane Wallace

 is a champion for children who bear the invisible scars of tough childhoods

Metta World Peace

By: Jesse Zaragoza
Ron Artest, "Metta World Peace," is a professional NBA player who has been open about receiving support for his mental health.

Demi Lovato

By: Brittny Barcenas
Demi Lovato is a singer and actress who speaks up about mental health issues.

Nick Vujicic

By: Amanda Molinaro from Irvine

The founder of Life Without Limbs overcame depression, isolation and bullying by creating position change in the world.

Lili Reinhart

By: Brittny Barcenas
Lili Reinhart is an American actress who is open about her depression.

Misty Copeland

By: Kyley Brandt

Misty Copeland is the first ever African American principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. Growing up, she struggled with frequent anxiety and panic attacks, feeling out of place in her surroundings.

Clara Hughes

By: Alexa from Calgary

"I'm nowhere near my limit. I just want to see if there are such things as limits. I want to go and find out."

Selina Ren Jia Xuan

By: Lau612


Art has been a tool for therapy, for change and for self-expression.

Infinity Mirrors

By: Yayoi Kusama

'Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away' is one of Kusama's largest instillations. Kusama grew up in a traditional and conservative part of Japan. Her success as an artist came mostly from her own drive and confidence in her talent. 

Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013

By: Yayoi Kusama


By: Yayoi Kusama

Kusama continuously explores patterns and repetitions in her work. Throughout her extraordinary career, Kusama has been open about her mental health. She says that art has allowed her to express and explore her mental health issues. In "Pumpkins" Kusama explores her obsessive cumpulsive disorder. 

Corridor in the Asylum,1889 was beautifully rendered by Van Gogh while he was suffering from mental health issues

By: Vincent Van Gogh

Dorothea Dix advocated to create the first generation of American mental asylums

By: Unknown photographer

Call to Action

Find a list of organizations dedicated to helping those struggling with mental health issues

MY HERO Recommends Mental and Emotional Health Support Resources

By: Kitty Richardson

Get informed! Check out NAMI's information on mental health policies in the US.

Related Pages

Children's Mental Health Awareness Day | May 9

By: Xenia Shin
Children's Mental Health Awareness Day was established to raise awareness of supporting childrens mental health and to end discrimination, stigma and prejudice around mental health issues.

Mattie Stepanek Multimedia Lesson Plan

By: Laura Nietzer
Young Poet and Peacemaker Hero Mattie Stepanek passed away on the morning of June 22, 2004. Matties poems of peace and hope have touched millions of lives; his heartsongs will continue to reach people of all ages around the world for decades to come.


By: Jeanne Meyers
what can we do to stay mentally and physically healthy during the pandemic?

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Poetry Contest Winners Spring 2021

By: Shannon Luders-Manuel
Congratulations to the winners ofthe Spring 2021 Mattie J.T. Stepanek Poetry Contest!

Technical, Vocational Education and Training for Vulnerable Youth (TVET4VY)

Produced by:Plan Rwanda / Directed by: Ramon Sanchez Orense
Building resilience in vulnerable youth through technical and vocational training

To Write Love On Her Arms

By: Breeanna from Bell City
To Write Love On Her Arms was founded to help people suffering from depression and substance abuse.

External Links

Our Curators


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Audio curated by MY HERO Audio director Stu Pearlman. 


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editors Deborah Neff and Abigail Richardson. 

Organizer created on 9/26/2017 10:36:32 PM by Jeanne Meyers

Last edited 5/16/2024 10:20:13 AM by Abigail Richardson