Books to Help Children with Mental Health – Winchester Sun

Books to help children with mental health.

Published on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 6:00 p.m

By Shonda Johnston

Clark County Cooperative Extension Office

WWorld Mental Health Day was earlier this week, October 10. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of mental health issues. According to the World Health Organization, in 2019, one in eight people worldwide was estimated to be living with a mental disorder. That number has increased because of the pandemic, and is disproportionately low given the need for services, skills and funding for mental health. A silly stigma around mental health keeps people from accessing much-needed services or even talking about their struggles.

Bringing awareness and normalizing your mental health is a great way to address mental health concerns. This is especially important with children. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 6 children ages 2-8 have a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder in the US, and 20% of American children ages 9-17 have at least one mental health disorder.

With these numbers, we need to start helping kids prioritize their mental health. The easiest way to introduce this concept is to read. Books can be a great way to teach teens and young adults how important it is to take care of their mental health. Here are some great novels you can read with them or give your child to read about mental health. You can find these at your public library, or your child can borrow them from the school library.

Books for children aged 8-12

• “Dear Student” by Eli Swartz

• “AWOL” by Marla Lesage

• “Honestly Eliot” by Gillian Macdon

• “Iveliz Explains It All” by Andrea Beatriz Arango

• “Moon Flower” by Kasen Kalender

• “Increasing Rain” by Courtney Comrie

• “June Summer” by Jamie Sumner

• “Little Sister” by Maggie Adkins Willis

Books for children ages 12 and up.

• “And they lived…” by Steven Salvatore

• “Exactly Where You Should Be” by Amelia Diane Combs

• “How to Live Without You” by Sarah Everett

• “Improv: How I Discovered Improv and Overcame Social Anxiety” by Alex Grudin

• “Looks Like Us” by Alison Ames

• “Long story short” by Serena Keillor

• “Nowhere Girl” by Magali Le Huche

• “Final Job Announcement” by Matthew Landis

• “Queen of Rooftops” by Hannah Alkaf

• “Scout Honor” by Lily Anderson

• “Slip” by Marika Makola

• “This Is Why They Hate Us” by Aaron H

• “The silence that binds us” by Joanna Ho

• “Words We’re Waiting For” by Erin Stewart

• “Zia will erase the world” by Bree Barton

If you would like more information about mental health awareness, please contact the Clark County Extension Office.

The educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sexuality. Expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, military status, or physical or mental disability.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent. She can be reached at 859-744-4682 or by email at

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