May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. And what an opportune time to focus on our hearts and minds, considering the environment we’re living in.
All of us at Fountaindale would like to extend our hearts to any of our patrons and community members who are impacted by mental health obstacles in their lives. We know this can be a heavy topic, and everyone’s journey is unique. So, instead of telling you what to do or how to take care of yourself—plus we’re not licensed healthcare professionals—we’ve gathered materials and resources to help you learn more and guide you on your journey.
We know mental health awareness isn’t just a one-month deal, much like any other month-long celebration or recognition. So we encourage you to refer back to this post whenever you’d like throughout the year.
For Children and Families
Parents and teachers have been talking a lot this school year about social-emotional learning, in which children learn how to identify their emotions and how to handle those feelings in appropriate ways. We have plenty of books on feelings, mindfulness and tools to help you manage your moods. Check out our Mental Health and Mindfulness bibliography for a list of books covering topics like:
- what it’s like to talk to a counselor
- having a parent with a mental illness
- tips for mindfulness, self esteem and what to do when you’re scared or worried
- how other kids face trauma, eating disorders, OCD and other mental health issues
We also had a Tween De-Stress Fest at the library not long ago where we made squeezy stress balls. Here is a video with simple instructions for a stress ball you can make with corn starch, water and a balloon. (In our library program, we filled balloons with flour—not water—and that works, too.)
General Books and resources for adults
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb.
- The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
- You Are Not a Rock: A step-by-step guide to better mental health by Mark Freeman
- The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Books and resources for aging adults
- Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Towards Meaning and Joy by Thomas Moore
- Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age by Jo Ann Jenkins
- The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself by Linda Abbit
- Aging Well: Diet and Stress – part of The Aging Brain Great Course (Watch on Kanopy)
- Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives by Daniel Levitin
- Winter’s Graces: The Surprising Gifts of Later Life by Susan Avery Stewart
Material focused on mindfulness
- A collection of books from Tara Brach, Ph.D, psychologist, author and teacher of meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening.
- Peace is Every Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation (course on Kanopy)