#ChasingStigma in May
May is Mental Health Awareness month and I am excited to be putting together several blog posts, videos, resource lists and more centered on the theme of mental illness.
As many of you know, my book, Chasing the Milky Way comes out in June. It is about a young girl named Lucy Peevey who is saving money for a robot competition in hopes that the prize money will get her out of Sunnyside Trailer Park and into a better life. Unfortunately, things aren’t as easy as they seem, and when the big weekend draws near and her Mama, who suffers from a mixed diagnosis of Bipolar and Schizoaffective Disorder, starts to spiral into an episode, things get even worse.
As I was writing this book, I did a lot of research, so I will be sharing a bunch of those resources day in and day out in the month of May. But I also will be doing lots of book reviews. Why? As it turns out, I am also a teen librarian at the Derry Public Library in NH. I find that when kids are looking for stories about mental illness, they often cannot find one. It’s not that they don’t exist, it is that they can be difficult to locate. Books aren’t always categorized by their diagnoses, especially in the fiction section. So this month, I hope to highlight some great books about mental illness.
Why books? Why mostly fiction books? Well, the obvious reason is that I am an author and librarian and love books. The less obvious reason is because story immersion is an empathetic endeavor. Hearing and reading stories is our very best chance at simulating life outside of our own experience. In this way, books and stories are able to reaffirm life experience, but also widen perspective. I hope highlighting these books will give people a reason to read, learn and better understand mental illness (and its universality) and in doing so, fight the stigma that surrounds it. I will be categorizing these resources and book talks under #ChasingStigma on Tumblr, Twitter and FB, so hopefully they will be easier to find.
And away we go!