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May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Guest Article by: 
Rhiannon
Article Type: 

This month is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness. That sounds great, but what exactly does it mean? And what can we really do to help raise awareness, beat stigma, and help those who are suffering? I don't have all the answers, but I do know what helped me as a young adult struggling with mental illness, and what continues to help me...

Books.

We all know books are our favorite form of flight and fancy. So it isn't such a stretch that these portable bits of magic would be helpful for those dealing with a wide range of mental disorders. It is not only comforting to escape to a new world, but also books that explore mental health within their pages can help people even more than those that help us escape.

When you deal with a mental illness, it can feel like you are all alone, like no one in the world can understand you, that no one would ever want to hear your voice. Novels that showcase main characters that are going through a similar struggle can remind young and old readers alike that they are not alone, and they are loved.

It's not only that. The rise of characters being depicted with mental health issues helps break the stigma around mental illness. We need to pull back the curtain and show that these issues are not evil or an anomaly. Every day, ordinary people live their lives with a variety of mental health issues. They aren't "crazy" - they have an illness that needs to be managed through support and treatment like any other. The more characters in books we see who manage these types of illnesses, the more we demystify mental health. This is a comfort to sufferers and an aid to allies.

So this month we want to encourage our readers to pick up some excellent YA novels that feature mental health in some way, in hopes that we can help in the fight to destigmatize mental illness. To that end we have a YA Mental Health table; come check it out this month!

The Weight of Our Sky Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534426085
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - February 5th, 2019

SHOUT Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780670012107
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 12th, 2019

This Is What It Feels Like Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062494238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - November 6th, 2018

Little & Lion Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316349017
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 3rd, 2018

How to Make Friends with the Dark Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781101934753
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - April 9th, 2019

Heroine Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062847195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 12th, 2019

Highly Illogical Behavior Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780147515209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - June 13th, 2017

The Beauty That Remains Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524715878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - March 6th, 2018