By Hanna, East Wenatchee Librarian
Today is World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority.
According to the World Federation of Mental Health, 2022, “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.”
Even as there is so much progress to be made creating structures that ensure the mental health of everyone, people can also engage in individual solutions for mental well-being. These books listed below — all found in our library collection — provide guidance on such individual solutions while addressing structural influences and barriers.
To understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. This collection explores a wide range of topics, from the authors’ personal experiences with mental illness and understanding how our brains are wired, to exploring the do’s and don’ts of talking about mental health.
YA authors, including Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and many more candidly recount their real-life experiences with mental illness — either their own or that of someone very close to them — in this powerful collection of essays that explores everything from depression and addiction to ADD and PTSD.
A Perfectionist’s Guide to Not Being Perfect by Bonnie Zucker
The goal of this helpful book is to encourage teens to maintain their desire to achieve without striving to always be perfect and to appreciate and love who they are just as they are, not for what they do or accomplish. When teens can recognize that perfectionism is a disadvantage, they can become motivated to do something about it.
The Book of Knowing: Know How You Think, Change How You Feel by Gwendoline Smith
Gwendoline Smith began a Tumblr blog under the pseudonym Dr. Know. Her Gen Z-friendly approach to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) resonated, and the idea for this book was born. With lively art, tangible advice, and immersive activities, this book is a handy guide for dealing with big feelings that provides humor, kindness, and manageable strategies for issues that can sometimes feel out of our control.
The Fire Never Goes Out : A Memoir In Pictures by Nate Diana
In a collection of essays and personal mini-comics that span eight years of their young adult life, author-illustrator Nate Diana charts the highs and lows of being a creative human with Bipolar Disorder in the world. Whether it’s hearing the wrong name called at their art school graduation ceremony or becoming a National Book Award finalist for their debut graphic novel, Nimona, Nate captures the little and big moments that make up a real life, with a wit, wisdom, and vulnerability that are all their own.
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button. Only he isn’t sure he wants to. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world — and his pain — be destroyed forever.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, Ben tries to keep a low profile for the last half of senior year in a new school. Then fellow student Nathan Allan decides to take Ben under his wing. As their friendship grows, it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.