Thankfully, in 2016, there is no longer a need to brush things under the carpet, and we can all openly talk about mental health. I appreciate that not everyone has found out what they need to do to maintain a healthy mind – its perhaps not as easy as eating in a healthy way, as it is a very individual prescription. However, there are many many ways, one of which is reading, and young adults today, aren’t getting enough.
I have recently had to coax my own son back into reading, after having a period in which he had forgotten to take care of his mind so badly, it was as ethereal as he was starting to look physically. I know it can be done.
Reading is an essential self-help therapy. I’m not talking about reading books about raising your esteem, or feeling the fear and doing it anyway (am I the only person who didn’t find that book useful?). I am talking about stories (please feel free to see a previous post on short stories and how to use them). Stories can evoke all sorts of emotions and sentiments – there are ‘feel good’ books, books for re-assessing your values and ideas, books that provide the thrill of ‘horror’, and books that can provide relief from various ailments – and all through hidden messages.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,
and the most patient of teachers.”
~ Charles William Eliot 1834-1926.
I would like to point out that bibliotherapy is a very individual prescription and that one book does not fit all. However, young adults today are having to deal with difficult issues of local terrorism, broken and blended families, isolation in a social media world, liberal ambiguous sexualisation, and complex political repercussions.
Here are some of my thoughts, however, please contact Appletree books on firstname.lastname@example.org for personal prescriptions:
Matthew Norman’s We’re all damaged
John Green’s Paper Towns
Scarlett Thomas’s Bright Young Things
Jill Dawson’s Fred and Edie
Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
John Green’s The Fault in our Stars
Stephen Chbosky’s The perks of being a wallflower
Annabel Pitcher’s My sister lives on the mantelpiece
J.B. Morrison’s Frank Derrick’s holiday of a lifetime
Jacqueline Wilson’s The illustrated mum