So May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To me, this is something very important and more attention needs to be brought to it. Sadly, in the world we live in, 1 in 5 Americans are affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in youth ages 15-24, and in 90% of those cases, there was an underlying mental illness.
In an attempt to bring awareness to this, I will be reading 9 books that discuss different mental health issues.
- Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Mosquitoland by David Arnold
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- I Was Here by Gayle Forman
- All Better Now by Emily Wing Smith
- Hold Still by Nina LaCour
- Schizo by Nic Sheff
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
I've picked these books based off of this article that Penguin Teen has suggested. There is a tenth book on the list that is not being released until July, but I have pre-ordered it.
As I said, I am reading and reviewing these books this month in hopes of bring awareness to mental health issues that plague too many people.
Warning signs to look for in friends, family, and even yourself include, but are not limited too:
- Feeling sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks.
- Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plan to do so.
- Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.
- Sudden, over-whelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort, or fast breathing.
- Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or gain.
- Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
- Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.
- Drastic changes in behavior, personality, or sleeping habits.
- Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still.
- Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities.
If you feel that you are suffering from a mental illness, you can get help by:
- Talking to your doctor.
- Connect with other individuals or families.
- Learn more about mental illness.
- Visit NAMI.org
Do not be afraid to reach out for help!