Changing Minds on Mental Health
Illustrated by: Belle Wuthrich
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Featuring real-life stories of people who have found hope and meaning in the midst of life’s struggles, Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health is the go-to guide for teenagers who want to know about mental health, mental illness, trauma and recovery. For too long, mental health problems have been kept in the shadows, leaving people to suffer in silence, or worse, to be feared, bullied or pushed to the margins of society where survival is difficult.
This book shines a light on the troubled history of thinking about and treating mental illness and tells the stories of courageous pioneers in the field of psychiatry who fought for more compassionate, respectful and effective treatments. It provides a helpful guide to the major mental health diagnoses along with ideas and resources to support those who are suffering. But it also moves beyond a biomedical focus and considers the latest science that shows how trauma and social inequality impact mental health. The book explores how mental health is more than just “in our heads” and includes the voices of Indigenous people who share a more holistic way of thinking about wellness, balancing mind, body, heart and spirit. Highlighting innovative approaches such as trauma-informed activities like yoga and hip-hop, police mental health teams, and peer support for youth, Heads Up shares the stories of people who are sparking change.
Melanie Siebert is a youth and family counsellor in Victoria, British Columbia. She works with people to transform depression, anxiety, trauma and inner conflict into meaning, purpose and hope. She also specializes in suicide intervention and prevention. Melanie has a Master of Social Work and a Master of Fine Arts. Her first poetry collection, Deepwater Vee (McClelland & Stewart), was a finalist for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award in 2010.