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TV Series Spotlight for World Mental Health Day 2021

On October 10th, 2021, the global effort to erase the stigma around mental health continues. Nonetheless, it is a day to raise awareness and educate those who need more of an understanding when it comes to mental health. 

Considering that representation of people with mental health issues in television is minimal, it is helpful to know which TV series depict mental health in a positive fashion. Of course, there will be more difficult scenes to watch regarding the topic but that is what encourages more understanding. The following is a handful of shows to watch with the intention to be more aware of mental health in its entirety. 

Sex Education

There are now three fantastic seasons of this show and when I tell you it has taught me SO much, I am not kidding. From sexual health to women’s health, this show embraces the idea of therapy and not being ashamed about needing help. The creators of Sex Education did an excellent job at giving each character a journey in finding themselves and recognizing their own sexual and mental health. 


Streaming on Netflix as of last month, Maid is a limited series about the various obstacles a victim of domestic violence, Alex, faces as she tries to make a better life for herself and her young daughter. Throughout the series, we learn about Alex’s trauma and how she comes to terms with the need to take care of herself. The brilliant performances of this cast perfectly depict different issues aside from domestic violence, such as bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and infertility depression. These are all important issues that need representation in film and tv because they can encourage viewers to get help themselves. 

This Is Us

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Along the same lines of a perfectly cast ensemble, This Is Us is a great example of diverse individuals who deal with their own battles. Like Sex Education, this long-running series also emphasizes the importance of therapy and why we should put our own mental health first before the repercussions can affect those in our lives. Many shows are great at representing women who experience mental illness, but this one also highlights the vulnerability that men can experience when facing mental health issues.


From the same genius producer as Maid, John Wells, Shameless is a more lighthearted depiction of those struggling on a day-to-day basis. This hilarious show brings a realistic perspective of complex characters and how they handle poverty, mental illness, addiction, grief, and many others. 


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