Mental Health Awareness Month: Kids & Teens Edition

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is important for young readers to learn how to process and express their emotions in healthy ways. Below are some book suggestions for kids & teens that will help them identify their feelings, introduce mindfulness & encourage their self-esteem. 

Kids

Sitting Still like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel
In a simple and accessible way, it describes what mindfulness is and how mindfulness-based practices can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware. 

Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods that Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis
Silly, cranky, excited, or sad–everyone has moods that can change each day. And that’s okay! Follow the boisterous, bouncing protagonist as she explores her moods and how they change from day to day.

Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean
This vibrant and funny children’s book is a playful way to introduce children to the power of meditation.

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
This rhyming story describes each day in terms of a particular color which in turn is associated with specific emotions.


Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other things that Make Me Happy by Scott Menhin
Enlivened by his whimsical characters, Scott Menchin’s amusing story shows us that just doing what we love to do best can bring the biggest smiles of all.

When I feel Good about Myself by Cornelia Spelman
A young guinea pig explains that self-confidence comes from learning new things without being afraid of making mistakes and to remember that everyone has different qualities that make them lovable.

Theo’s Mood by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Members of Theo’s class help him understand his feelings about becoming a big brother.


The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to discuss their multitude of feelings in a kid-friendly, accessible format, told through Parr’s trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes.

Teens

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health by Kelly Jensen
This collection explores a wide range of topics, from the authors’ personal experiences with mental illness and understanding how our brains are wired, to exploring the do’s and don’ts of talking about mental health.

Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness Skills to Help Teens & Young Adults Deal with Anxiety, Depression & Trauma by Janina Scarlet, PhD
Psychologist Janina Scarlet and Marvel and DC Comics illustrator Wellinton Alves join forces to create a dynamic, illustrated introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you vanquish your inner monsters, explore your unique superpowers, and become a Superhero questing for what matters to you.

Zen Teen: 40 Ways to Stay Calm When Life Gets Stressful by Tanya Carroll Richardson
A warm and relatable teen guide to reducing anxiety, depression, and panic while developing resilience and confidence with 40 tips and tricks that guide, support, and inspire teens to keep calm and stay mindful.

Surviving the Emotional Roller Coaster: DBT Skills to Help Teens Manage Emotions by Sheri Van Dijk, MSW
A guide for teens having trouble handling strong emotions outlines self-management skills based in dialectical behavioral therapy, covering the practices of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Just as You Are: A Teen’s Guide to Self-Acceptance & Lasting Self-Esteem by Michelle Skeen & Kelly Skeen
Stop comparing yourself to others–you’re special just as you are! In this fun, practical guide, you’ll learn how to silence your nit-picky inner critic, cultivate self-compassion, and discover what really matters to you.

Project You: More than 50 Ways to Calm Down, de-Stress, and Feel Great by Aubre Andrus & Karen Bluth, Ph. D.
Award-winning author Aubre Andrus shares more than 50 do-right-now projects that will help beat stress, smile big, and discover a calmer more blissful you.

The PTSD Survival Guide for Teens: Strategies to Overcome Trauma, Build Resilience & Take Back Your Life by Sheela Raja, PhD & Jaya Raja Ashrafi
In this compassionate guide, you’ll find skills based in cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy to help you tackle anxiety and harmful avoidance behaviors; manage negative emotions; cope with flashbacks and nightmares; and develop trusting, healthy relationships.