Anyone who reads the blog knows what a fan of ‘tough issues’ books I am. A big part of this subgenre are books dealing with mental health issues. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I have lived through the teen years and my twenty’s understanding not only what it is like to survive and function in this world with a mental health disorder, but also the stigma that can be attached to it. Sometime in college, I began reading YA books dealing with mental health issues. It was then, and also my studies in psychology (second minor) that I began to develop a strong sense of how mental illness can affect a young person’s life. I began speaking out about my own illness and became a proponent in erasing the taboo that is talking about mental health.
Books about this issue are so important for teens – it is not only a way to see someone else experiencing those painful issues, but it is a way to see that it is okay. Teens are more likely to get the help they need when they know they aren’t alone — that someone understands and that it is not something dirty and shameful. Here’s some facts from the National Alliance of Mental Illness:
- Four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school and with peers. Of children ages 9 to 17, 21 percent have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder that causes at least minimal impairment.1
- Half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays, sometimes decades, between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment. An untreated mental disorder can lead to a more severe, more difficult to treat illness and to the development of co-occurring mental illnesses.3
- In any given year, only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive mental health services.4
The fact that EIGHTY percent of children are not receiving the help and care they need is terrifying. Whether they are uneasy, their parents don’t understand, or some other reason, these children/teens are likely feeling alone and vulnerable.
So, when I saw this blog hop, I jumped at the chance to use this as a platform to promote on the blog. And of course, I am offering one lucky reader the chance to win one of my favorite books on mental health. Each one of these books holds a special place in my heart — and you can choose on for yourself.
According to NAMI, suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 15 to 24. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease combined.5 Over 90 percent of children and adolescents who commit suicide have a mental disorder.
If you, or someone you love needs someone to talk to, or is contemplating suicide, there is a wonderful information directory on the International Suicide Prevention wiki. (I got this via Postsecret, who is a major proponent of this organization). There is also another wonderful non-profit, To Write Love on Her Arms, which aims to present hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self injury, and thoughts of suicide while also investing directly into treatment and recovery.
One lucky winner will an e-book copy of one of the above listed ya books dealing with mental health issues. This contest is open to US and INTL entrants who can receive e-books from Amazon.com. To win, complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter. Be sure to complete each task, as entries will be verified. For a complete list of rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Good luck!