This year, CMHA’s annual Mental Health Week takes place from May 6th-12th. The purpose of the week is to encourage conversation about and understanding of mental health by getting loud and speaking up. To help spread the word, here are some books that we think would make great reads during Mental Health Week!
Whether you’re looking for a great piece of fiction or a phenomenal work of non-fiction, Matt Haig‘s bibliography has you covered. Equal parts light-hearted and deeply moving, all of his books make for a great reading experience regardless of the genre. So, whether it’s aliens coming to earth to stop a mathematical equation from being solved (The Humans, though there’s more to it than that…), a rich detail of his experiences with anxiety and depression (Reasons to Stay Alive), or a treatise on how and why 21st century life is affecting our mental wellbeing (Notes on a Nervous Planet), Matt Haig‘s got you covered.
The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown
The Meaning of Birds is one of the most beautiful YA novels I’ve read in a long, long time. Telling the story of Jess’s attempts at dealing with her grief after the tragic and completely unexpected passing of her girlfriend Vivi (who, by the way, is the best character I’ve encountered since Luna Lovegood herself…), The Meaning of Birds deals with issues of grief, depression, and loss in a way that I have not seen before. Out of all of the books that I’ve read lately, this is the one that I would call a must-read.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior. Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images. Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head. Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn. Challenger Deep may be a few years old now, but I will never tire of recommending this book. Also, if you can, do yourself a favour and get ahold of the audiobook. You won’t be disappointed.
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach
Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe. Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended.
everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Jomny Sun
everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too is the illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, only to meet all sorts of creatures with all sorts of perspectives on life, love, and happiness, all while learning to feel a little better about being an alien. Through this story of a lost, lonely and confused alien finding friendship, acceptance, and love among the creatures of Earth, we will all learn how to be a little more human. And for all of us earth-bound creatures here on this planet, we can all be reminded that sometimes, it takes an outsider to help us see ourselves for who we truly are. Sometimes a little positivity can go a LONG way.
Mourning Has Broken by Erin Davis
On the morning of May 11, 2015, Erin Davis, one of Canada’s most beloved radio personalities, suffered a devastating blow when her daughter Lauren, who had marked a joyous Mother’s Day with her husband and young son only hours before, failed to awaken to her baby’s cries. For months after Lauren’s heart stopped beating, the reason for which the coroner said might never be known, Erin would awaken from a restless night’s sleep and look at the clock wondering, Is this the time she died? How could a mother sleep through the night when a part of herself had been torn from this life? How did my heart not stop too? she wondered. We promise you that you will immediately fall in love with this heart-wrenching but ultimately emotionally uplifting true story of loss, grief, suffering, and life. Just make sure to keep a kleenex box close by, okay?
And now for two titles that aren’t out yet but that you should be looking forward to!
Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller and Sorry For Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley
Though both of these novels aren’t released until the summer, they’re both incredible reads that address very real, very serious issues – including schizophrenia, poverty, abuse, death, and depression – in an approachable and accessible manner.
What will you be reading this Mental Health Week? Let us know in the comments or on @SavvyReader!
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