BookCrushin Recommends: Mental Health Books
May is Mental Health Month, which is a time when community-based organizations and mental health advocates band together to tackle barriers to accessing vital mental health services. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has themed the campaign “#CureStigma“.
One in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Arguably, 100% of Americans are impacted by an issue called stigma. People who need support can’t get the help they need if their mental health concerns are being downplayed, silenced, shamed, and feared.
Some of you may know that breaking down the barrier of stigma is near and dear to my heart. I have the privilege of leading an amazing organization (Counseling and Support Services for Youth) whose mission is to destigmatize mental health services and make supporting youth the norm as they move from kindergarten through 12th grade. To honor Mental Health Month, I am sharing some of my favorite stories featuring mental health topics.
10 YA Books that Tackle Mental Health Stigma
The Holo Series by Kristy Acevedo – It’s hard enough to be a teen in a world where humans from the future are saying the world is going to end. Alexandra is also working through her anxiety, which comes into play as she navigates the new world she’s living in.
Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade – Finding Felicity isn’t a book about mental health but rather a story where mental health exists in the background of Caroline’s journey.
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland – We love all things Krystal Sutherland because it’s clear she does her research. Semi-Definitive addresses self-harm, suicide, and anxiety in a way that brings the feelings right to you.
The Art of Starving by Sam Miller – Male main characters in YA are so often missing, especially in a book about eating disorders. Sam Miller hits this one out park.
Any Book by Shaun David Hutchinson – I can’t pick one because they’re all so fantastic and showcase youth with mental health support across the genre.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – What makes Challenger Deep so fantastic is that you don’t know what is happening until you’re in the midst of it. An intimate look at a youth with schizophrenia, made real by art from Neal’s son, who lives with a mental health condition.
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone – If you want a look into what it’s like to have OCD, Tamara Ireland Stone has written the perfect story for you. Lots of feels in this one.
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert – What happens when your closest friend and brother lives with bi-polar disorder? Brandy explores the complexity of sibling relationships and the importance of a good support system.
Share your favorite mental health focused recommendations in the comments and be sure to head over to curestigma.org to see how you can help!