Mental health awareness month is May, but that doesn’t mean the importance goes away in July! Teaching children about mental health struggles and ways to overcome them is crucial. Reading about mental health can help kids handle and understand their stress, anxiety, sadness, etc. They can have extra empathy for those who deal with mental struggles as well. Reading stories about characters who deal with nerves, sadness, and anger can inspire readers that it’s going to be okay. There are techniques to calm you down, or things you can do to help others when they are having a tough time. Take a look at some of these titles to start a journey into mental health awareness books.
Buddy The Bucket Filler by Maria Dismondy & Carol McCloud, illustrated by Julia Seal
One book that showcases kindness to others is a book called Buddy The Bucket Filler, from Cardinal Rule Press. This story by Maria Dismondy and Carol McCloud, illustrated by Julia Seal, comes out on August 1st! Buddy and his Uncle Frank spend time filling people’s buckets. They have empathy for others and participate in acts of kindness. You never know what people are going through, so it’s good to act as a bucket-filler!
Breathing Makes It Better by Christopher Willard & Wendy O’Leary
This picture book focuses on the importance of breathing. It teaches readers, when going through big and tough emotions, slowing your breaths can really help. This story involves situations that children may come across. Feeling sad, lonely, full of anger, or nervous. Having ways to deal with these emotions is a great idea. The most simple way is to stop, and take a breath.
Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani, Psy.D., and illustrated by Kyra Teis
Sometimes When I’m Sad is a children’s book that focuses on the deep feeling of sadness. The main character feels really sad, and it stops him from doing things that he usually likes to do. He talks to a counselor, who gives him a lot of ideas to help him feel better. These various activities help him come out of the deep sadness slump. This book helps readers recognize that being sad for a little while is okay. However, if those emotions stop you from doing things you like to do, there are ways to help it.
Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Griffin, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga
This picture book captures what it feels like to worry about new experiences or change. Lily worries about the new place she will be living with her grandma. They try to find ten beautiful things on the drive there. Lily can’t find the tenth thing, and she still can’t seem to shake the nerves in her stomach. When they get to their destination, Lily realizes that being with grandma might be the most beautiful thing! This book has beautiful pictures and helps readers understand how nervous Lily feels.
Natalie Pritula is an upcoming junior at Oakland University studying political science and public relations. In her free time, she likes to listen to music, go on bike rides, and bake sweet treats!