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Development   /  Alison Black

The Anxious Shrink (formerly Driving Dr Mark Demented)

He's been anxious since he was 4. Now #TheAnxiousShrink is on a mission to help other anxiety sufferers


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Alison Black

  • PRODUCER Alison Black



Dr Mark Cross, from Erskineville, is very anxious. He also thinks he's going to get dementia sooner rather than later, it runs in the family. It's a good thing he's a psychiatrist. In addition to helping his patients at his various clinics, Mark wants to get his message out to the wider world - he's all about a holistic approach to mental health, especially during a pandemic And people are starting to listen - in a month on Facebook, his content was viewed by 70,000 people. He's becoming known as #TheAnxiousShrink and this film is following his journey to be a one man, one stop shop for the hundreds of thousands of Australians struggling with anxiety.

Support this project

21.25% funded
  • $40,000.00

  • $8,500.00

  • 30th November 2022

  • 7

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Dr Mark Cross $2,000.00
Anthony de Leede $1,000.00
Anthony de Leede $1,000.00
Anthony de Leede $1,000.00
Anthony de Leede $1,000.00
Anthony de Leede $1,000.00
Anthony de Leede $1,500.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

We've never been more anxious - a pandemic will do that. This is a project that is building a vibrant, if a bit anxious, community of supportive sufferers. It's one man's journey to help hundreds of thousands of people, and in doing so help himself.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

I believe this film can help find and connect those of us who struggle with anxiety, and then help them through the lived experience of a medical doctor who also suffers. We're de-stigmatising mental health issues and offering a safe space for people to communicate their anxieties.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

At the highest level, we hope it will bring about increased funding for mental health.
Underneath that lofty (but measurable) aim we want to help people talk about what's worrying them. We're about to face a mental health tsunami - self harm cases in ED in Victoria are up 10 per cent since Covid-19. Wait times to see psychiatrists and psychologists have never been longer and the gap means they are not always affordable. We can't fix this instantly, but we can connect people who see the film into our world.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

It's all about the storytelling. Choir of Hard Knocks, which I produced, was essentially about homelessness. But a million viewers a week watched and loved it so much it changed funding and homelessness policy. It all starts with engaging storytelling.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Mark is a board member of Sane, and we both have links at high levels to politicians. However, we are keen to plough our own furrow so not to owe undue prominence to any one agency.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

I hope they join our Facebook community. I hope they email their MPs. I hope they seek help if they have anxiety. I hope they talk to friends and family and encourage others to do so.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We use Facebook metrics to ensure we are delivering on our KPIs.
We will keep a record of all media appearances and mentions.
We will have a target of meetings to hold with key stakeholders and politicians.