Every October, Mental Health Awareness Week provides Canadians with many opportunities to find out more about the importance of mental health, and how to achieve it in our daily lives.
The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
However, in the lifetime of an individual, mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety can arise at any time. When the individual is a child or teen, an entire family is involved. The following resources in the Okanagan Regional Library were created to help meet these challenges:
FOR PARENTS & FAMILIES
–– Healthy Living… It’s in Everyone: A Guide to Healthy Living for Families who Have a Child or Youth Living with Mental Health Challenges (2011) – call number 362.204 HEA. This toolkit can also be found online at keltymentalhealth.ca.
–– Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance (2009) – 649.154 MCC.
Parents learn a set of skills to pass on to anxious children as young as four years old, to help them learn to shift their focus away from anxious thoughts and feelings and focus instead on the things that are most important to them.
–– Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids: Help for Children to Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Transitions (2009) – 155.418 SHA. Intended to be used jointly by parents and their children to cope with specific stressful time periods such as divorce, loss of a loved one, or a family move.
–– Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents (2008) – 618.9285.
This updated classic describes in detail strategies and techniques parents can combine into a comprehensive self-help program for a child’s particular needs.
–– Helping Your Socially Vulnerable Child: What to Do When Your Child is Shy, Socially Anxious, Withdrawn, or Bullied (2007) – 649.1567. Techniques here promote confidence, self-esteem, independence and social ease in children, whether at home, in the classroom or in their peer groups.
–– What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (2006) – J155.4124 HUE. This interactive self-help book helps to educate, motivate, and empower kids to overcome their overgrown worries.
–– When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety (2006) – J152.46 BUR. Easy to read, this illustrated children’s book is filled with opportunities for children to participate in developing their own self-calming strategies.
–– My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic (2010) – YA152.46 TOM. Helps teens take control of their anxious feelings by providing strategies to tackle anxiety head-on and to feel more confident and empowered.
–– The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help you Deal with Anxiety and Worry (2008) – YA155.5124 SCH. The book shows teens how to change anxiety-producing thoughts, perform breathing and bodywork exercises, and develop problem-solving skills that can short circuit anxiety.
–– Maureen Curry is the chief librarian at the Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.