Chemicals in the brain

In this film, Dr Anwar tries to answer a question about what changes physically when someone has a mental illness and how medication helps.

This film is part of a series of group discussions on parental mental illness. If you want to watch more from this collection, you can find them on the Resources section of our website.

Teachers/facilitators’ notes:

If you are using this film as part of a lesson or workshop, you might find the information below useful to support discussion.

Teaching points

  • The beauty of this film is that a boy summarises what Dr Anwar is trying to say very well, but it illustrates the confusion sometimes created by the concept of ‘chemical imbalances in the brain’ – the reason often given for mental illness.
  • An important point from this film is that it’s worth trying to explain a concept to young people. Often young people help you themselves and the really important part is talking about it, raising the questions, and looking at the answers together.

Learning points

  • Explaining mental illness can be hard, even for experts!
  • Mental illness is sometimes unhelpfully described as a ‘chemical imbalance in the brain’ but this does not fully explain what is happening.
  • The medication to ‘balance’ this can lead to unwanted side effects.

Duration of film

5 minutes, 08 seconds


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