Mental Health Resources for Teens
For teens, opening up about or even just identifying what they’re feeling can be challenging. So many changes are happening in their bodies and minds, and they’re still figuring out who they are and what they believe in. However, one way to advance the conversation about youth mental health is through literature. Mental health books for teens, especially novels, can help teens understand and normalize the thoughts and emotions they’re experiencing.
Reading about a character’s emotional journey as they work through their mental health can show teens that they’re not alone in their feelings. Books can also provide them with a new perspective on their situation and offer hope that things will improve. Here are some of the best mental health books for teens Ascend recommends for anyone interested in exploring their mental health.
Six Books About Mental Health for Teens
1. The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho
Maybelline is a Chinese-Taiwanese-American teen whose brother suddenly dies by suicide. In this novel, she grapples with grief, as well as racist accusations against her family. She writes to work through complicated feelings but also finds that there are consequences to speaking out.
2. Seasonal Velocities by Ryka Aoki
For teens who want to explore more abstract poetry, short stories, and essays about queer individuals, this novel provides an honest view of the challenges many in the LGBTQ+ community face. The author is a transgender Japanese-American helping everyone speak out about being gender nonconformists.
3. A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen
In this mental health book for teens, a girl who commits suicide looks back on her life through letters, piecing back together her memories. This novel is an amazing mental health resource for teens because it explores depression, grief, and love – and what happens after you’re gone.
4. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
Aza Holmes is dealing with the mental health challenges of anxiety and OCD. When one of her wealthy friend’s fathers goes missing, Aza becomes wrapped up in the mystery. This novel is a touching and honest mental health book for teens because it’s a raw portrayal of how mental health concerns can affect friendships.
5. The Stress Survival Guide for Teens: CBT Skills to Worry Less, Develop Grit, & Live Your Best Life by Jeffrey Bernstein
As the only non-fiction book on our list of mental health books for teens, The Stress Survival Guide for Teens offers readers concrete skills to manage stress and anxiety. It’s a great resource for those who want to learn real-world mechanisms for coping with mental health challenges.
Why Books Are Important for Advancing the Conversation About Mental Health
Books about mental health books for teens can help them understand and normalize their life experiences. Some of the benefits of reading about mental health include:
- Destigmatization of mental health concerns
- Encourages people to reach out for help when needed
- Helps build a community of support and understanding
- Ensures teens feel accepted
Books are just one way to start the conversation about mental health with teens. For those who are struggling, it’s important to seek out professional help. Mental health resources for teens are available through schools, community organizations, and mental health professionals – like Ascend.
At Ascend, we offer a high level of care for teens who need a complete mental health reset. With our outpatient and residential treatment facilities in California, we help teens and families who are dealing with mental health challenges.