Feature: Six Of The Best – Mental Health | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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There’s still not enough awareness of mental health issues in our society, though thankfully, there’s incredible charities like Mind who have shown a relentless dedication to seeing a change in this. There are two special shows over the next few days which aim to raise money for the Tyneside & Northumberland branch of Mind. First up, tonight, Anth The Drive-In and more play a musical extravaganza paying tribute to At The Drive-In, The Pixies and Descendents, which you can read more about here. Monday 22nd August sees The Stand hosting a Stand Spotlight night dedicated to the theme of health (more info here), as some of the best and brightest emerging comics perform bespoke sets on that very subject. Between those two gigs though, we thought we’d give you something to occupy your time, so here’s six recommendations of bits of arts and culture that tackled mental health in a fascinating way.

FILM Lars And The Real Girl
A wonderful little movie that shows the power of community support. Compassion and understanding over time form the crux of the movie, amazingly understated performances from Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer steal the show, for a flick that’ll gain repeated viewing and pull on every last emotion.

LITERATURE The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath’s only novel charts a descent into mental illness and the semi-autobiographical tale parallels Plath’s own experiences with what may have been clinical depression. A film version is in the pipeline, but Plath’s writing springs to life on the page and is a must-read.

MUSIC Daniel Johnston
Johnston always felt like something of an outsider artist anyway, his diagnoses with schizophrenia and battles with bipolar disorder found fans never wavering in their support and reverence of this lo-fi musical genius. He crafts earnest, tender songs that really are truly unique to his often gorgeous mind.

TELEVISION Dirty, Filthy, Love
Superb performances from Michael Sheen and Shirley Henderson in this ITV drama tenderly showcased the hold mental health issues can take as we follow the effect obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome have on the life of a successful architect.

COMEDY Angela Barnes
Lots of tremendously intelligent and inventive comedians have tackled the tricky subject of mental health, though we thought we’d share this clip of Angela Barnes brilliantly talking about anxiety.

POETRY Neil Hilborn
This poem entitled O.C.D. needs little said for it, it’s simply beautiful, emotive and raw, and we implore you to give it a watch.

Anth The Drive-In, The Micksies and Daveage play The Cluny, Newcastle TONIGHT and Stand Spotlight – Health, takes place at The Stand, Newcastle on Monday 22nd August.

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