Children’s Mental Health Week is taking place 4th-10th February. The theme this year is Healthy: Inside and Out, which aims to help children and young people look after their bodies and minds, and understand that small changes to your physical wellbeing can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.
Below are some recommendations for books that support mental health and can help open up discussion with children.
The Colour of Happy by Laura Baker
This beautifully illustrated picture book follows a little boy as he navigates a range of emotions – from happiness and excitement to hope and love, all on his way to present a gift to his mum.
The perfect way to talk about important feelings with young children.
Find out more about The Colour of Happy here.
Happy to Be Me by Emma Dodd
This simple, heartfelt story offers children a way of talking easily, and with gratitude, about their bodies and the wonderful things they can do. This is the perfect way to build body confidence and self-esteem in even the youngest children, and rhyming text makes it great for reading aloud.
Find out more about Happy To Be Me here.
The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
This bestselling story about a shy little mouse who sets off on a journey to find his roar, shows that even the biggest, bossiest people are scared sometimes … and even the smallest creatures can have the heart of a lion! A good book for talking about self-esteem and confidence with young readers.
Dear Katie by Katie Thistleton
TV presenter and mental health advocate Katie Thistleton answers questions from real kids and teens with real issues, covering a range of topics including mental and physical health with thoughtful and emotionally sensitive advice. With additional guidance from TV and radio Dr Radha Modgil, this book is full of advice and guidance to help kids through the difficult years of growing up.
Positively Teenage by Nicola Morgan
Full of practical, proven strategies for physical and mental health, Positively Teenage shows readers lots of ways to flourish physically and mentally – from looking after diet and exercise, to understanding the value of sleep and developing self-understanding. Nicola Morgan is a teenage-brain expert and this fun, accessible guide is a must-have for schools.
It’s All in Your Head by Rae Earl
This witty, honest and enlightening guide to the whirrings of your brain is the perfect read for any young person who’s ever felt overwhelmed, at a loss or in a downward spiral. From the author of My Mad Fat Diary, it’s full of friendly advice, coping strategies and laugh-out-loud moments to get you through the difficult days. From anxiety to eating disorders and depression, Rae’s approach helps to normalise, not stigmatise these issues.
Colour Me In by Lydia Ruffles
Nineteen-year-old actor Arlo likes nothing more than howling across the skyline with best friend Luke. But when something irreparable happens and familiar black weeds start to crawl inside him, Arlo flees to the other side of the world, taking only a sketchbook full of maps. There, he meets fellow traveller Mizuki and they decide to get lost together. But how far can you run before you lose yourself completely?
This is a beautifully written and touching portrayal of male mental health, for fans of The Catcher in the Rye and Turtles All the Way Down.