Many kids that experience mental illnesses start developing symptoms as young teens–just when they’re at the age to encounter Young Adult literature. Through YA novels, writers can reach readers at this critical time. Young adult books can be a balm to teens struggling with mental health, offering disability representation, much-needed hope, and comfort in knowing that they’ll come through their darkest days… if we follow a few key guidelines. These six pointers are indispensable in creating an empathetic, accurate, and hopeful book with mental health themes.
Non-fiction picture books vary so much, instead of just giving you an exhaustive list of possibilities, I’m going to give you something much better: the tools for YOU to figure out what you need. (And I’ll share what I’ve learned along the way.)