We often use fictional novels as a means of escaping, to explore new worlds and living the lives of characters as a means of getting away from our own. And although fictional books are just that, fiction, stories are almost always reflective of things going on in reality. And although novels give us an opportunity to escape, we may find ourselves becoming attached to characters who share our backgrounds and experiences, and we may find ourselves learning more about who we are through them.
If your child is an avid reader, trying to get back into or even start reading, or have reading more as one of their quarantine goals, we wanted to highlight a few sources that have lists of young adult novels that either have a main character coping with their mental health, or have mental illness has one of the main themes of the story. These cover topics such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, OCD, suicide, and grief. The books on these lists are diverse as well, showing that mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of sex, gender, race, and sexuality.
Please keep an eye out for any trigger and content warnings. Some novels may be heavier than others with their topics.
We encourage you and your child to rent these books from your local library if you are unable to purchase them. Apps such as Libby are great tools to download ebooks from your local library if you or your child don’t feel comfortable or are unable to physically visit.
Does your child enjoy reading? What books would you recommend about mental health?