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Made by students on the BFI Film Academy, this documentary covers the perspectives of several young people whose parents have suffered from mental illness. It explores the impact on them in a tender way that helps with understanding mental health conditions and their effect.


Henry 00:00:47:19

Okay. I'm Henry.

Paige 00:00:49:20

Hi, my name is Paige. I'm 16,

Henry 00:00:51:20

I'm 16.

Paige 00:00:53:01

My childhood was good. I had lots of fun, but it was quite rocky

at times, building up to when my mom was hospitalised. Her, she

became very erratic. We didn't really know what was going on,

she wasn't herself.

Henry 00:01:05:10

It was more like a gradual shift in time, but probably when she

first checked into the mental ward, it really clicked you know.

Paige 00:01:13:22

My great grand had just died. It was just very sudden. We didn't

know what was going on.

Henry 00:01:19:06

She was dealing with alcoholism at the time, too, and just

everything just went downhill from there, and she got into the

mental ward and that's all I knew. It was like a blur to me. My

impression of her was really wilted by this experience.

Nadia 00:01:29:15

I was inspired to start the Self Esteem team, having experienced

my own troubles growing up and not having the right information

that I could relate to.

Clip: Limbo.mp4

2 / 5

Henry 00:01:41:09

I don't think I could have done anything. I was pretty powerless

and I wanted to be numb to everything, basically. It was like a

very Kafkaesque situation. I just wanted to avoid it.

Nadia 00:01:51:08

We don't just work with students, we work with parents and

teachers as well for what we call a whole school approach.

Paige 00:02:00:06

I spoke to my pastoral manager about it. I said, I said that my

mum's in hospital and she said okay, and it was never spoken

about again. We felt quite alone.

Henry 00:02:12:00

I guess I didn't really see her as like a really strong person, like

she was more human, more flawed to me. My dad, he was always

quite, uh, frantic and, uh, he didn't really treat the situation well,

I don't think.

Nadia 00:02:25:06

There can often be, uh, what's called role reversal. So the child

becomes the parent and the parent becomes the child, and this

gives huge responsibility to the young person, so they essentially

cut themselves off from friendship circles.

Henry 00:02:40:11

Music helped me through it quite a lot, to be honest. I would just

hide in my bedroom and stuff and like, you know, my parents

were constantly arguing so I'd hear sounds of them arguing


Paige 00:02:50:18

I didn't enjoy being at school. I was constantly worrying and I

started to have lots of days off.

Clip: Limbo.mp4

3 / 5

Henry 00:02:57:06

I, I'd say I wanted to be in school more because, like, I kind of

wanted to run away from my home life and like, I wanted to be

involved in school affairs more, like I just wanted life to go on as

normal, but of course, it didn't just went like topsy turvy really


Paige 00:03:13:15

I think it would have been helpful for me to speak to somebody at

school, because it would have made me want to go into school

more. They just need to pay a bit more attention to the students,

because it's not always the students that are making a ruckus or

being loud. It's sometimes the students who don't say anything at


Nadia 00:03:28:16

So many people suffer in silence or slip under the radar and

aren't recorded.

Henry 00:03:33:14

I just wanted people to think that I was having a normal life, so I

just kept all these feelings bottled inside of me and just

suppressed them. My mom has been home for like two years now,

and she has been dealing with pretty well, and she hasn't had

any significant relapses or anything, so it's good. I don't think I'll

ever fully comprehend what happened, but I think, uh, I think I'm

more aware of, you know, her situation and like the full scope of


Paige 00:04:04:05

I was really relieved when I got the call saying that my mom was

home. She contacted her doctors and said, would they be able to

speak to us? For me, it helped to speak to somebody because I

was able to say things that I didn't realise I was thinking.

Clip: Limbo.mp4

4 / 5

Nadia 00:04:19:17

Mental health conditions are a lot more universal, and there will

be someone out there who can understand, or someone out there

who is going through a similar thing and has perhaps come out

the other side, or has good advice that might be able to help you.

Henry 00:04:34:20

I think it's a good thing I see my mom as more human, although,

you know, the crisis wouldn't be the best way of teaching that to

me, you know.

Paige 00:04:43:23

I think my mom's experience has taught me to take a step back

and think about myself more, not to be so selfless.

Henry 00:04:52:01

If I was giving someone advice who was going through this, I

would say, find someone you can really open up to because I

didn't at the time.

Paige 00:04:59:12

Be patient and realise it's not your fault. It can't be helped.

Nadia 00:05:04:03

It's not always the first person that you reach out to, that's

necessarily the one you're going to connect to or knows how to


Henry 00:05:11:04

I only really found out I needed to open up to someone like years

later, because I have a friend like that now, and like, it's been like

a really good thing in my life.

Nadia 00:05:21:09

So keep going, keep trying. There's no one size that fits all.

Clip: Limbo.mp4

5 / 5

Paige 00:05:27:17

It will take time for things to get better.

Henry 00:05:30:14

Even like the strongest people can like break down sometimes.

Nadia 00:05:33:14

And if it takes a few people, that's fine. That's normal. You're

doing better than you think.


Video length - 6.38
Published date - Oct 2022
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Humanism is a non-religious belief system. Humanists are people who shape their own lives in the here and now, because they believe it’s the only life we have. They make sense of the world through logic, reason, and evidence, and always seek to treat those around them with warmth, understanding, and respect.

And just like with other belief systems, they have important ceremonies too. Watch Ivy experience her naming ceremony, with the key features explained, while her parents discuss the Humanist principles they want to instill in her.

A film by Alastair Collinson.

Humanists UK

A Humanist Naming Ceremony

Video length - 08.12
Published date - Jun 2022
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Understanding Addiction: Dad Dependent On Alcohol – Jo is now in her 40s but spent her childhood being frightened of her father, who became addicted to alcohol and made life difficult for Jo and her whole family. While it’s important to listen to and help those who become personally dependent on a substance, the loved ones of people with dependency issues sometimes get forgotten, and they also need guidance through their trauma. Jo is now in the best place she’s ever been in her life thanks to charities such as Adfam, who focus on the families of those with substance misuse or dependency issues.

There are three fact sheets and three lesson plans that you can use alongside the nine addiction films, which includes the introduction film, seven interviews (each focused on a different type of addiction) and a law film. Please also read the attached guidance and teacher notes that offer support and resources for young people who may already be experiencing addiction in their lives or homes.

A film by Alastair Collinson.

If you are affected by any of the content on screen or would like to know more, please visit the website of Adfam, who are based across the UK, or you can reach out to Jo personally who operates her own service for people going through, or who have gone through, a similar experience to her.




Jo Huey is a speaker, trainer and adult child of an alcoholic based in Bournemouth. She educates professionals about living in a home of alcohol misuse and how best to help families. She has also written two children’s books. Check out her podcast on alcohol misuse, the impact on the drinker, family and society as a whole – just search for “Two Roads Travelled” on most podcast platforms. She created the accompanying document that helps identify and assist young people who possibly have a parent with substance dependency.

To contact Jo email her at:

[email protected]

Understanding Addiction: Dad Dependent On Alcohol

Video length - 06.26
Published date - Sep 2021
Keystage(s) - 3, 4 and 5

Nick Brewer Talks Commitment – Using the stimulus of a poem by rapper and spoken word artist Nick Brewer, pupils are given the opportunity to consider their own values and commitments, the benefits of those commitments, and what they would like to commit to in the future. Made with Fastn.

Nick Brewer Talks Commitment

Video length - 02.59
Published date - Apr 2021
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Commitment and Families – What is commitment? What does commitment look like for different families? Produced in partnership with Fastn, four families discuss their relationships.

Commitment and Families

Video length - 08.44
Published date - Jan 2021
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Belong – Many children and young people have to move to a new school, a new city, or a new country. In this film, young people describe how it feels to start a new life and find a new home.

Courtesy of Coram.

This film was co-produced by Coram Life Education and Coram Young Citizens, an ambassador programme for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Free lesson and assembly plans exploring the theme of belonging can be found on their site here.


Video length - 04.58
Published date - Mar 2020
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

The View from the Classroom – Intermarriage – What is intermarriage, and what do you think about it? Students from Key Stages 4 and 5 in schools all around the country give us the view from the classroom.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 2: Thematic studies:Theme A: Relationships and families: Sex, marriage and divorce - The nature and purpose of marriage.



Area of Study 1 - Section 2 - Sex, marriage and divorce - the significance of marriage in religious life; religious teachings about marriage.


Component Group 2–Religion,philosophy and ethics in the modern world from a religious perspective - relationships and families - religious teachings about the nature and purpose of families in the 21st century, sex, marriage, cohabitation and divorce. Issues related to the nature and purpose of families; roles of men and women; equality; gender prejudice and discrimination.



PART B- Theme 1: Issues of Relationships



Component 1 (Route A):Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World : Theme 1: Issues of Relationships:Relationships

The View from the Classroom – Intermarriage

Intermarriage is when

two people of a different background, for example

different religions,



or nationalities come together and

marry each other.

I think intermarriage is a good thing. I mean, I'm technically from intermarriage, so my mom is from Zambia and then my dad was British English.

My dad is Welsh, and he was born in Swansea. And he- my mum is Brazilian.

My mom's African and my dad's from Kent.

I think it's a good thing for me that I have parents of different nationalities, because I feel like I have an open mind because of it. I like that because, you know, leaves stuff for possibility.

Oh, I 100% think it's really healthy for society to have all of these different religions and ethnicities and all, like, mingling together because it's, it's it makes it more lively.

In some sense, intermarriage would be confusing on children, because if you had a child and you had two religions in that family, you can't really mix them together, because that's obviously then against your religion in some sense.

It might be confusing for the children because the child may need to pick like what type of religion, what type of path to follow. If he wants to follow the father, if he wants to follow the mother.

Problems that intermarriage might cause for the kids, maybe, uh, they're stuck between two cultures. But it also can be good, because it might bring in more opinions about different cultures and help them improve as a person as well, because it might be different ideas they might take in from different religions and put them all together and make a good person.

Some people might be against, um, intermarriage because they feel like they racially won't be pure.

It could be family influences.

Because of religion and culture.

I think that some people may be against intermarriage as they believe that people should stay within what people like to call their own kind.

I think people are scared of the change. They don't want to have something different because it's not what they know.

If you were like, say, a strong Christian, it might be hard for you to accept the practice of, like, what a Muslim would do.

There will always be a problem when it comes to marriage, like, obviously when it comes to, like if she was a Muslim, she has to pray five times a day, she's not allowed to eat pork, she's not allowed to drink, like to smoke. If I'm choosing to marry the woman I love, I will have to believe what she believes in as well. And, like, not saying I will be a Muslim as well. I will still be Buddhist, however I will, I will understand why she does what she has to do.

In Islam, if you are going to marry someone from a different religion, then the child has to follow the man's religion.

I disagree with the fact that men are allowed to marry someone out of faith, and we're not. I think from back in the days it's all changed.

I don't think it matters if I married someone of a different religion, because if I love them, that's all that matters. I would want to have a Muslim wedding because it's my background and I love being a Muslim. I wouldn't mind also doing their way but incorporating it with mine.

I think intermarriage is neither good or bad. I think it's just two people marrying each other for love.

I feel like everyone should have the choice to like and get married to anyone they want. They shouldn't have to conform to 'Oh, you can only marry, you know, your own religion or your own race'. I feel like the world would be a very boring place if that were to happen.

I think intermarriage is happening much more these days, since it's much, it's much, like, widely accepted in today's society. I think it's a sign of healthy society.

I think intermarriage is a good thing because it brings communities together. It brings everyone together. Um, and it lets, it lets us learn the differences between everyone else. And it, it could end racism.

I think it's a sign of a healthy society if we have intermarriage, because it's showing that we have diversity and that we accept everyone for who they are, and we don't think of someone as Muslim or Christian. We think of them as a human and that person's personality.

The View from the Classroom – Intermarriage

Video length - 04.25
Published date - Sep 2019
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Me, Myselfie and I – John is falling behind at school, ignoring his mates and neglecting his girlfriend – all because he’s become obsessed with maintaining his online persona. He spends so much time on his phone, he eventually becomes trapped inside it. Literally.

A re-telling of the Greek myth of Narcissus for the social media age.

A film by Alastair Collinson.

Alastair was invited on to The Victoria Derbyshire Show to be part of a panel discussing social media’s impact on young people as a result of the film. Clips were featured on the show and on BBC World News.

Me, Myselfie and I

Video length - 11.59
Published date - Jan 2019
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

An Untold Story – Robyn is a young filmmaker from a small town in Scotland. She is used to telling other people’s stories, but has never put her own on camera. So in this film, she describes how she came to realise that she was gay, the initial shame she felt (and was made to feel) before proudly accepting herself for who she is.

An Untold Story

Video length - 08.50
Published date - Jan 2019
Keystage(s) - 4

Fine – Joe returns to school after his mother’s funeral, and has to cope with his bereavement surrounded by friends who don’t understand what he’s going through, and teachers who are unsure how to help him.

A film by Emily May Smith.

With thanks to Portsmouth Grammar School.

If someone close to you has died, or if a friend is trying to cope with the death of someone they knew, you can find support and guidance at Child Bereavement UK.


Video length - 10.31
Published date - Sep 2018
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources