Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mental Health Month: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

While metal health issues may seem frightening, more often than not, mental illness affects us in silence. We often try to deal with anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, clinical depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, eating disorders on our own so people don't think we're odd or scary or unlovable. But the truth is, almost every one of us deals with mental illness whether through ourselves or someone we love. We learn to deal with and treat these illnesses so we can lead normal, healthy lives.

A few days ago, my local library's teen blog posted some great information on mental health as well as a reading list of YA fiction that deal with mental illness. I used this to inspire my own list of YA fiction dealing with mental health issues that have touched me:

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Stop Pretending by Sonya Sones
Venomous by Christopher Krovatin
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
Everything Is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis
Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig
You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

For more information on maintaining mental health and being more accepting of those who struggle with mental illness, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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