Monday, April 18, 2011

Introducing Mental Health Week

This week I'd like to discuss something very important and personal to me ... mental illness. It's something that I feel very strongly about, having struggled with various forms throughout my life. I feel, even now, that there is a huge stigma attached to people who suffer from mental health issues and I'd like to do something, even as small as hosting this themed week, in order to take away some of the shame associated with admitting to mental illness.

I am however, not a health care professional. If you think you are suffering from mental illness, please do seek support from your GP.

Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people today in Britian. It's very common, but I'm sure that there is a lot that is not widely known about mental illness. It can take many different forms, from anxiety and panic attacks to depression. Personality disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Other issues related to this psychiatric disorders include eating disorders, the abuse of drugs and alcohol and also self-harm.

There are many different causes for mental illness: difficult childhoods, genetics, stressful life events to name but a few. And there are different types of treatment from medication to talking therapies and many different means of seeking help. For more information, visit the NHS website about mental health.

For me, I find that regular exercise, eating well, expressing my emotions and having someone available to openly speak about past events and my feelings does a great deal towards improving my mental well-being. I'll be discussing some of my own experiences of mental illness during the course of this week.

During my Mental Health Awareness week, I'll be reviewing several YA books that dicuss some aspect of mental illness or disturbance, share some of my own experiences, and provide some other recommendations of books that cover the subject well.

I think mental illness is a very large topic, and I won't be able to address every aspect of it. In fact, the books I'm reviewing this week deal mostly with depression/bipolar disorder. Please feel free to write in the comments any books you've reviewed that deal with mental health issues, share your own experiences or give recommendations for books that discuss other aspects of mental illness!

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic!


  1. I look forward to reading more about this too this week. Interesting topic to review and not one that I realised appeared heavily within YA books.

  2. I'm really looking forward to reading your posts this week, it's a topic I too feel strongly about.

  3. It's so good of you to do this. I look forward to your reviews : )

  4. Looking forward to these reviews, its always great to raise awareness of this topic but it will be interesting to hear about some of the literature out there too. I have read a few books on this topic (mostly depression and eating disorders) and have found a mixed bag of good and not so good, so will be interesting to read what books you've come across!

  5. I'm looking forward to reading your reviews and so glad that your raising awareness :D I've been diagnosed with a few mental illnesses and am always on the look out for books featuring the subjected especially YA

  6. Thank you for raising awareness about this. I feel so frustrated with the stigma that still surrounds mental illness, and I can't wait to read your reviews this week.

  7. Vivienne - When I started, I knew of a few books that dealt with the topic, and now I've come across so many more after lovely readers suggested more. I think it's something that affects teens and young adults, so I really hope to see more fictional books that address this topic!

    Jenni - Thank you, I hope you've enjoyed it :)

    Cliona - Thank you very much! I hope people feel as enthusiastic about it now that it's finished as well..

    Louise - You know, I only started this themed week, because I had these few books lying around that dealt with depression/bipolar disorder. I'm thinking of making it a regular feature focusing on different aspects of mental illness. I feel all inspired now :)

    Jess - Thank you, and I hope the week lived up to expectations! If you come across any really great books that handle mental illness well, please do let me know :)

    Jenny - Thank you, I hope I've done an OK job of it. It's a topic I hope to return to again and again! :)


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