We continue our recognition of World Mental Health Day with recommended reading for adults. This year’s theme for WMHD is make Mental Health & Well-Being For All a Global Priority.
“Our world is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, wars, displacement, and the climate emergency, all of which have consequences for the well-being of world citizens… We need to work with governments and other stakeholders to apply universal preventive measures that reduce the risk of mental ill-health. This includes the promotion of social inclusion policies, support and direct investment for vulnerable populations and investment in communities and young people to reduce crime… We need to improve the social determinants of health and address mental health stigma and discrimination” (From the World Federation of Mental Health, 2022).
Even as there is so much progress to be made creating structures that ensure the mental health of everyone, people can engage in individual solutions for mental well-being. The books listed below — all found in our library collection — provide guidance on such individual solutions while addressing structural influences and barriers.
In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us. Follow @TheNapMinistry on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
Every day, we’re bombarded with pressure to be positive — from “life is good” memes to endless advice to “look on the bright side. But if all this positivity is the answer, why are so many of us anxious, depressed, and burned out? In this refreshingly honest guide, sought-after therapist Whitney Goodman shares the latest research along with everyday examples and client stories that reveal how damaging toxic positivity is to ourselves and our relationships, and presents simple ways to experience and work through difficult emotions. Follow Whitney Goodman on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
Healthy boundaries. We all know we should have them–in order to achieve work/life balance, cope with toxic people, and enjoy rewarding relationships with partners, friends, and family. But what do “healthy boundaries” really mean–and how can we successfully express our needs, say “no,” and be assertive without offending others? Follow Nedra Glover Tawwab on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
This first of its kind resource helps Asian Americans, immigrants, and other minorities and marginalized people work on their mental health while honoring the richness of their heritage and embodying a new, complete, and whole identity. Throughout, Dr. Jenny Wang weaves together personal stories of strength, pain, and resilience with incisive analysis of Asian American and immigrant identities and how they affect our individual and collective mental health. Follow Jenny T. Wang on Instagram or Facebook.
An accessible, insightful guide to answering Life’s big questions for yourself. Who am I? What does that dreaded phrase “Just be yourself” even mean? What does it mean to be “authentic”? In Pocket Therapy, licensed psychotherapist Sarah Crosby using accessible language, cheerful graphics, and fun exercises to tackle crucial topics like attachment, boundaries, self-talk, triggers, reparenting and more. Follow Sarah Crosby on Instagram.
Over two-thirds of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives — and upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years, often gaining more weight than they lost. Dietician Christy Harrison exposes all the ways that diet culture robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. She provides a radical alternative to diet culture, and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter. See this post for more size inclusive fiction and non-fiction for all ages. Follow Christy Harrison on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
By age thirty, Stephanie Foo was successful on paper: She had her dream job as a radio producer at This American Life and had won an Emmy. But behind her office door she was having panic attacks and sobbing at her desk. After years of questioning what was wrong with her, she was diagnosed with Complex PTSD — a condition that occurs when trauma happens continuously, over the course of years. In this deeply personal and thoroughly researched account, Stephanie interviews scientists and psychologists and tries a variety of innovative therapies. Ultimately, she discovers that you don’t move on from trauma — but you can learn to move with it, with grace and joy.
Inspired by the success of his podcast, John Moe has written a remarkable investigation of the disease, part memoir of his own journey, part treasure trove of laugh-out-loud stories and insights drawn from years of interviews with some of the most brilliant minds facing similar challenges. Throughout the course of this powerful narrative, depression universal themes come to light, among them, struggles with identity, lack of understanding of the symptoms, the challenges of work-life, self-medicating, the fallout of the disease in the lives of our loved ones, the tragedy of suicide, and the hereditary aspects of the disease.
Bedlam: An Intimate Journey Into America’s Mental Health Crisis by Dr.Kenneth Paul Rosenberg
With the closure of many state mental health hospitals in the 1980s, today’s largest mental institution in the United States is the Los Angeles County Jail, and the last refuge for many of the 20,000 mentally ill people living on the streets of Los Angeles is L.A. County Hospital. There, Dr.Kenneth Paul Rosenberg begins his chronicle of what it means to be mentally ill in America today, integrating his own moving story of how the system failed his sister, Merle, who had schizophrenia. Dr. Rosenberg gives readers an inside look at the historical, political, and economic forces that have resulted in the greatest social crisis of the twenty-first century. Bedlam is not only a rallying cry for change, but also a guidebook for how we move forward with care and compassion.