UnLonely Film Festival 6

My Mum’s Got a Dodgy Brain

Three children living with a parent with mental ill health share their story and their ways to cope.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

This film was commissioned by Devon Partnership NHS Trust to talk to children and adults about the realities of living with a parent with mental ill health. Following the stories of Anya (age 9), Macauley (age 11) and Erin (age 12) these positive and incredible children share their story and advice.

Directed by BAFTA winner Emma Lazenby, produced by ForMed Films CIC in collaboration with Dr Joanne Black and Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

“The film was originally designed to help mental health staff who work with adults to keep in mind the children in their families. It will be used for staff training and to share with families to help other children feel less alone.” (Dr Joanne Black, consultant psychiatrist DPT NHS)


Emma Lazenby has worked in the animation industry for over 20 years (Channel 4, BBC, Aardman and Disney). She made ‘Mother of Many’ in 2009, an animated film celebrating midwifery and childbirth. When this won a BAFTA Emma realised that animated film was the perfect medium to educate people about medical issues. Emma launched ForMed Films in 2015 to make animated films in collaboration with patients, charities and health professionals to help people talk about and understand medical and health issues. Emma also mentors young film makers and is an associate lecturer on BA Digital Animation at Bath Spa University.


Join The Discussion

What kind of “dodgy brain” does anyone in your family have, and how does that make you feel about the relationships other people have with their families?


  1. Anonymous

    Growing up my father suffered from depression. But I honestly never noticed until I was older. Because when I was younger I knew my dad to be this guy everyone in my town loved and he always had a huge smile on his face. But 2014 my dad lost his battle to depression and that’s when I really began to feel different from everyone. Seeing that other families had two parents and I now have one made me feel all kinds of emotions.

  2. Anonymous

    my mom had MS and the meds she needed made her act in strange ways some of the time. i had friends who knew my mom and liked her and so they understood and that helped me so much.


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