Children’s book for mental illness

To turn my back around from COVID – 19driving me up the wall, I decided to pour my time and energy into a project that I have been wanting to start for a long time. Which is to write a children’s book on introducing mental illness with a gentle approach and write a book to parents – from a perspective of a child who struggles with a mental illness.

As a child, I struggled with OCD. I had intrusive sensations of having aluminum foil in my mouth for the longest time, where my parents thought I was making excuses from not wanting to study. I had a hard time focusing as different obsessions would come to my head over the years.

It was masked as my lack of discipline, lack of motivation or at times even attention deficit.

As an adult getting appropriate treatment, studying these disorders in-depth and working alongside young children, I started to feel the sincere need to advocate for the younger ones that can’t eloquently describe what they are feeling, or going through.

If there is a “no child left behind” for school, I want to make sure no child is left behind to get adequate mental (and physical) health care.

When I first got into the field, I never thought of working with young children.

While I always loved working with children in an informal setting, I just couldn’t see myself working with the little ones, as I would get impatient and frustrated. But in the past year – the more I engage in working with the little ones, I feel more drawn to advocate on behalf of their needs if they need the support.

I don’t want to rule out any population/setting out of my career, but the general flow seems to be going in a direction that I never expected before.

While I have some ideas on how to approach this, I am looking for ideas and suggestions from my audience.

Any suggestions? Ideas?

18 thoughts on “Children’s book for mental illness

  1. Do some research on ages of the people you want to aim it at and do some kind of charts with what would be best advice for these ages.

    Well done for stepping out of your zone to do something to help humans understand something that’s been misread for years ❤️😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A children’s book sounds like an amazing use of your time. I am not well versed in writing children’s books but if you need someone to edit I will donate my time for free. I am all for working helping those especially the young ones with your experience.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Don’t be afraid to be fun and playful. Even if the book is about a serious topic, you still want the children reading it to enjoy the book (whether that be through the wording itself or through the pictures).
    Think of how you want to capture their attention, and as someone mentioned earlier, keep in mind which age group you’re targeting.
    Are you aiming for children 3-6 or 6-9 year olds? Their books are often structured differently. Do you want the book to be a picture book, if so, how do you want the images and words to look?
    These are all different things to keep in mind, while of course trying to convey your message.

    I’m so sorry. I’m a nerd…and I used to work in the children’s section of a bookstore. I also studied different genres in school, so I just wanted to try and give you whatever information might be helpful. I was also a classroom teaching assistant and tutor, so I’ve worked with a lot of different age groups at the elementary school level.

    I think this is a wonderful idea, and I hope to see the book on the shelves!
    Some bookstores have books in their children’s section under a “mental health” header. You may want to check some of those out, and flip through them as “research.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! This is so helpful. And I’m targeting age 6-9 to be more specific! It was a passion project sitting on the back burner for a long time – but I’ve been finally mustering up the courage to act on it! Any tips are much appreciated!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find 6-9 books do well when the characters in the story connect well with the kids. The images are usually very warm and colourful, and the characters also have that same feel (even if the character’s are “mean” or “grumpy”).
        Your passion is definitely going to be helpful! I think that you should go through your planning stages, and figure out exactly how you want to go about telling the story. It will make it easier once you start writing (if you haven’t already).
        Continue to have your audience in mind, and definitely take a look at books in that age group.
        Some of these books are short chapter books/graphic novels, and others are picture books. Depending on the story you want to tell, you’ll have to determine which of these will be the best fit. 🙂
        I’m really excited for you. There is definitely a lack of representation for these types of books among that age group. There are some in the 9-12 age categories…but there is very few.
        I have friends who grew up with ADHD, and were not diagnosed until their teen years. If others had been properly educated on it at the time, they wouldn’t have had teachers constantly labeling them as “disruptive” or “uninterested.”
        They excelled through university because there were tools in place for them to be successful.
        Your book is very important. I hope you update on your progress.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly didn’t get it treated until I went to college. Growing up in an Asian immigrant culture, mental health treatment was just not a thing. In college though, through a professor’s referral – I started seeing a therapist, then a psychiatrist and it’s been so manageable!!

      I think it’s so important especially at younger age to get age appropriate treatment to support them where they need. With children, there is so much growth you can see over time even with disorders like OCD! Getting them seen by a mental health clinician first, will be the first step that should be taken 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is very slowly gaining traction but there are still woefully few children’s books about mental illness. I wish you the best of luck and please let me know when you publish yours as I would love to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello! I hope that you are well. As an aspiring Children’s Book Writer and a Children’s Book Critic I was naturally drawn to your post.

    While vacationing in Spain a few years ago, my husband and I stumbled upon a wonderful Children’s Book titled: Topito Terremoto (Little Mole is a Whirlwind). It tells the story of a Mole who is living with ADHD and goes through everything from the diagnoses through treatment by a therapist (a sorceress). Through the use of fantasy, the book addresses a very serious subject in a fun, and creative way. You may want to take a look.

    Here’s a link:

    If I can be of any help, please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

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