It can be tough to talk to kids about mental health. After all, where the heck do you even start? But now a U.K. teen has created a children’s book called Scrambled Heads to help teach young kids the basics.
Emily Palmer from Wiltshire, England, decided to write a kid’s guide to mental health after experiencing her own struggles with mental illness.
“Having battled with anxiety and anorexia nervosa, I wanted to use my own experiences to encourage conversations on such an important topic,” the 19-year-old told Buzzfeed News.
Palmer also revealed that she hadn’t seen any similar books available for kids. As a result, Scrambled Heads was born.
“I want to help create a world where mental health is discussed with children, and we can talk in more than whispers about our experiences. We should be proud to talk of our achievements and successes in battling something that can take away so much,” Palmer told HuffPost U.K.
“This book aims to help the readers recognize that [mental illness] is not something to be ashamed of, and it is OK to speak up.”
To write her book, the teen worked with a number of professionals, including teachers and psychiatrists, to make sure her guide was accurate and easy for kids to understand. Not only does Scrambled Heads help explain different types of mental illnesses, but it also reveals how people who are struggling can find the support they need.
“I needed this book as a child,” one reader wrote on Amazon. “Growing up with a mum with bipolar and grandparents in denial, childhood was very confusing and often scary. This book explains everything perfectly and opens up conversation about mental health. I believe this book should be in all schools and nurseries, to read and discuss with the future generations.”
Talking to kids about mental health has never been more important than it is right now. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 10 to 20 per cent of youth are affected by mental illness and only one in five children who need mental health services receive them.
Visit here for parenting expert Alyson Schafer’s tips on how to ensure your kids have good mental health.