We recently completed our series of recommended children’s mental health books for students of all ages. And, with the help of grant funds are donating copies of the books to local school libraries, so children will have easy access to them.
“We know that as many as 1 in 5 American children struggle with a mental health challenge,” explains Coalition Coordinator Susan Orban. “And they are developing these problems at younger and younger ages. Children often feel alone and helpless in their struggles. Yet, there is nothing like the power of reading and storytelling to teach us that others have struggled too and dealt with similar challenges,” added Orban.
“Reading age-appropriate books with mental health themes allows children and youth to find comfort and wisdom in characters with whom they strongly relate,” continues Orban. “They find it easier to express what they’re feeling because ‘such and such character has trouble with being scared too’”. Orban says reading books can help children and youth:
• Identify and validate feelings they might be having
• Realize that other children have similar problems
• Start a conversation about how they feel with adults
• Suggest possible coping skills and solutions, including mental health treatment
• Foster empathy for friends, siblings, and classmates who may be struggling.
We are extremely grateful to The Friendship Fund and GFWC Women’s Club of South County who funded this project, as well as the many Coalition voluntteers who read and reviewed books for us for the list. Orban said, “Every book on these 3 lists provide accurate information about mental health or substance use challenges, appropriate treatment for addressing them, and a sense of hope. But most importantly,'” said Orban, “is they are all considered ‘good reads’ by Coalition reviewers.”
Download recommended lists here: