Jonah Hill’s next movie could be his most important yet. The multi-hyphenate is getting back in the director’s chair to tackle a subject that desperately needs more transparency: therapy.
According to Collider, Hill’s second feature film will be a therapy documentary for Netflix. Hill made the announcement on Instagram earlier this week, sharing behind-the-scenes set photos featuring the subject of his untitled doc, Dr. Phil Stutz.
“We started production yesterday on my second directorial feature for [Netflix],” he wrote in the caption. “It is a documentary on my brilliant therapist, Dr. Phil Stutz, and therapy in general. The idea is to make a film that frames therapy and Phil’s tools for dealing with life in a way that isn’t corny or cheesy. Everything I saw growing up about therapy I rolled my eyes at.”
Hill also explained the reason this film is so necessary, writing, “If you can’t afford therapy or there is stigma in your family and life, the idea is that you can privately use these tools on based on the feelings you are having (depression, anxiety, regret etc), and use them in the privacy of your own home on Netflix. Sending you all lots of love. We all need it.”
News of the film comes at a time when experts are reporting that mental health is decidedly deteriorating across all demographic groups. According to the CDC, depression has tripled in the U.S. With younger adults, racial and ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reporting disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.
At the same time, seeking therapy is still stigmatized and for those willing to break the stigma getting professional help often proves to be inaccessible – especially for minorities.
This is a topic that still needs more attention in the mainstream to help erode the perception that therapy equates to weakness or is somehow reserved for a privileged few. So, Jonah Hill’s upcoming documentary isn’t attention-grabbing, it’s necessary.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there are resources to help you. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. You can call directly at 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, you can contact Samaritans at 116 123.