Mental health has become a prevalent topic within the last 10 years or so, but it's still something that we are learning to embrace and talk about, especially with children. I think it just seems daunting at times, and maybe sometimes we don't fully understand ourselves.
Here are a few books that can help introduce your kids to various mental health topics:
The Princess and the Fog by Lloyd Jones
Talks about childhood depression, but I think it's a great way to show kids what depression can feel like and what things can help people to cope with depression.
Michael Rosen's Sad Book by Michael Rosen
A really personal book where Michael Rosen talks about his own experiences with depression and sadness, and how he handles it.
Meh by Deborah Malcolm
A wordless picture book that illustrates the main character's journey through depression. At the back of the book there are discussion questions for parents/adults to talk about with children.
When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland
Mindful Art Co. introduced us to this book back in February and it's a perfect book for talking about sadness and what you can do with sadness.
You Should, You Should! by Ginny Tilby
Talks about peer pressure and trying to be someone that others will like, rather than being yourself. It's a great opportunity to talk with kids about embracing their unique traits and qualities and helping others to do the same.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
Also talks about embracing who you are, as well as being picked on for being different. It's a fun way to talk with kids about being themselves and finding different ways to do things.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean
Another great thing to talk about is mindfulness - doing things that help us to regain focus and to feel calm. This is a fun book about meditation and it's really easy for kids to follow. There are also some more detailed instructions at the back of the book for kids to try and for families to do together.
Here are some other books that I found from other websites, but have not personally read:
- UP AND DOWN THE WORRY HILL by Aureen Pinto Wagner, PhD
- HELICOPTER MAN by Elizabeth Fensham
- WHY IS DAD SO MAD? by Seth Kastle
- THE BIPOLAR BEAR FAMILY by Angela Holloway
- THE VERY CRANKY BEAR by Nick Bland
- THE WAY I FEEL by Janan Cain
- SOMETIMES I'M BOMBALOO by Rachel Vail
- CAN I CATCH IT LIKE A COLD?: COPING WITH A PARENT'S DEPRESSION by the Center for Addiction and Mental Health
- LISTENING TO MY BODY by Gabi Garcia
- HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY BABY BEAR? by Jane Evans
- A TERRIBLE THING HAPPENED by Margaret M. Holmes
- WHEN MY WORRIES GET TOO BIG! by Karl Dunn Buron
- THE HUGE BAG OF WORRIES by Virginia Ironside
- BLUELOON by Julia Cook
- BRIANNA AND THE BLUE MONSTER by Patience Domowski
- SADLY THE OWL by Linnie von Sky
- THE HYENA WHO LOST HER LAUGH by Jessica Lamb-Shapiro
- GROW HAPPY by Jon Lasser
- THE CAN DO DUCK by Ducktor Morty
- TELL ME SOMETHING HAPPY BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by Joyce Dunbar
- THE BRIGHTEST STAR! by Kathleen Maresh Hemery
- THE KISSING HAND by Audrey Penn
- THE LION WHO LOST HIS ROAR by Marcia Shoshana Nass
- WILMA JEAN THE WORRY MACHINE by Julia Cook
- WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU WORRY TOO MUCH by Dawn Huebner, PhD
I also found this list on Goodreads.com.
Are there other books that you would include on this list? How have you talked with your kids about mental health?