From May 7th until the 13th, the CMHA wants us to #GetLoud for Mental Health! Throughout the week, the CMHA and various sponsors and partners will be working to open up a dialogue about the realities of mental health and the benefits of a healthy mental lifestyle. To help join in on this great cause, we’ve put together a list of must-read books to help you get loud about mental health!
WARNING: The stories in these books deal with a range of difficult subject matter including suicide, mental illness, sexual assault, and more.
Told through interconnected short stories, That Time I Loved You details the lives of the residents of one Scarborough subdivision as they deal with the trials and tribulations of suburban life in the 1970s. In particular, the first short story in this collection – “Grass” – is a frank and heartfelt discussion about suicide, told from the perspective of an eleven-year-old narrator dealing with the deaths of multiple parents and teachers in her community.
Caden Bosch is the head artist on a ship that’s plotting a course towards the southern part of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point on Earth. Caden Bosch is also a gifted high school student whose friends and family start to take notice of his odd behaviour. Told in fast-paced chapters and complete with beautiful illustrations, Challenger Deep is the powerful story of one young man’s struggle to make sense of his reality.
Project Semicolon is an organization with the mission to help reduce the number of suicides in the world. To date, Project Semicolon has helped over 5.2 million people since 2013. Project Semicolon: You’re Story Isn’t Over is a collection of own-voice stories from survivors of suicide attempts and individuals living with various mental illnesses. Though the stories vary from person-to-person, the one thing that connects them all is the semicolon—a symbol of continuation and perseverance that brings hope. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to Project Semicolon.
Eliza and Her Monsters tells the story of Eliza Mirk, the anonymous creator of the wildly famous webcomic Monstrous Sea and her attempts to reconcile her online persona with her real-world existence. Complete with illustrations from the webcomic and screenshots from online forums – all the while dealing with issues of online negativity, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and more – Eliza and Her Monsters is a startlingly real depiction of very real, very serious issues.
Some kids are chosen to save the world, and some aren’t. This is the story of the latter – the everyday kids that exist while the superheroes are off saving the day. In this book, we get to hear the perspectives of kids just trying to live their day-to-day lives while in the midst of battles with anxiety, OCD, and eating disorders, among others. Grounded in the mundanities of our everyday lives, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is an exploration of the everyday ways in which mental health affects us all.
May your week be filled with sunshine, fine tea, and some good ol’ fashioned reckless literary abandon!