Having representation of teens with mental illness is important, but it's also important to understand our mental health and how to look after ourselves, and also to hear from those who have made it through. So today for Mental Illness in YA Month, I'm sharing with you teen non-fiction titles that cover mental illness/health.
Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson
We all have a mind, so we all need to take care of our mental health as much as we need to take care of our physical health. And the first step is being able to talk about our mental health. Juno Dawson leads the way with this frank, factual and funny book, with added information and support from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people's mental health - whether fleeting or long-term - and how to manage them, with real-life stories from young people around the world.
With witty illustrations from Gemma Correll. From Goodreads.
It's All in Your Head by Rae Earl
What I hope you take away from this book: good Mexican food deserves to go viral; good underwear never features the word 'string'; good mental health is the single most important thing you need to live a happy life.
I don't have a psychology degree - in fact, I once tried to throw a typewriter at a child psychiatrist (this was in the days before MacBook pros) - but I do have experience, understanding and coping mechanisms to help you get your sh*t together. From anxiety and eating disorders to OCD and psychosis, I want to help break down taboos surrounding mental health conditions (which directly affect 1 in 4 of us each year - you are NOT alone) and help you come out the other side happier and healthier. I'd also like to gift you with a deeper understanding of what's going on in your head, and how to navigate through life without feeling overwhelmed or isolated.
Where my lack of medical background becomes an issue, Dr Radha swoops in to the rescue. As a GP, mental-health expert and co-host of BBC Radio 1's The Surgery, I've worked with her to make sure all the information and advice is spot-on. She's clever, she's kind and she GETS it. I wish my teenage brain had had access to Dr Radha.
After My Mad Fat Diary published, and the TV show followed, lots of people from my past got in touch to say they'd thought I'd been a largely splendid teenager. And, to most people, I probably was. Because I was very adept at hiding my OCD, my anxiety, my depression, my eating disorders, behind a smile and a big sack of silly. And that is why I've written this book. Because I hate to think of any teen going through what I did, and feeling like they can't talk about it, or need to hide it. This is a book to break down taboos, to start conversations, to help you talk about things that seem impossible. It's a book for fans of Gemma Cairney and Open, Ruby Wax and Frazzled, Matt Haig and Reasons to Stay Alive, Bryony Gordon and Mad Girl. And most importantly, it's a book to make you feel like you're not alone. You're really, really not. @RaeEarl From Goodreads.
We talk about our physical health - but not so much about how we’re feeling. With lots of practical advice, this lively, accessible guide explains why we have emotions, and what can influence them. Covering everything from friendships, social media and bullying to divorce, depression and eating disorders, this is an essential book for young people. From Goodreads.
The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens by Jennifer Shannon
Do you have problems with anxiety? The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens is a much-needed, go-to guide to help you finally break free from the worry and ruminations that can get in the way of reaching your goals.
If you have anxiety, your fears and worries can keep you from feeling confident and independent. Teen milestones such as making friends, dating, getting good grades, or taking on more mature responsibilities, may seem much more difficult. And if you're like countless other anxious teens, you may even avoid situations that cause you anxiety altogether—leaving you stuck in a cycle of worry and avoidance. So, how can you take control of your anxiety before it takes control of you?
Based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this book helps you identify your "monkey mind"—the primitive part of the brain where anxious thoughts arise. You’ll also be able to determine if you suffer from generalized anxiety, phobias, social anxiety, panic and agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or separation anxiety. Full of powerful yet simple cartoon illustrations, this book will teach you practical strategies for handling even the toughest situations that previously caused you to feel anxious or worried.
If you’re ready to feel more independent, more confident, and be your best, this unique book will show you how. From Goodreads.
My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher, Phoebe McEwen, Emmeline Pidgen
Helping young people with anxiety learn to recognise and manage their symptoms, this anxiety survival guide teaches 12 to 18 year olds how they can overcome their biggest worries.
Showing that anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people face, this book helps young people understand the ins and outs of their own anxiety and helps them to challenge the difficult patterns they may get into. Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully.
With practical chapters on sleep, exam stress, transitions, and seeking extra help, this is a go-to guide for any tween, teen or young person living with anxiety. From Goodreads.
Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over by Amy Bleuel
For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness.
Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.
Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.
Learn more about the project at www.projectsemicolon.com. From Goodreads.
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