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Mental Health Awareness Week Book Recommendations 2021

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This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation UK. We believe at Bell Lomax Moreton that monitoring your mental health is paramount to your wellbeing every week of the year, however as we all faced the life changing impacts of Covid-19 in the last year it has become more important than ever to shine a light on this vital issue and reflect. The Mental Health Foundation have a plethora of resources on their website that you can find here and they have also created an insightful video on this year’s theme, Nature.

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, the team have come up with a list of books that we believe will truly be helpful to both adults and children to read not only this week but throughout the year.

Your worth never changed. Your awareness of it did.

A strong understanding of self-worth is crucial to living an authentic and fulfilling life, yet so many of us have lost that sense of who we truly are and what we are worthy of. On the surface, this may look like low confidence, imposter syndrome, chronic busy-ness, exhaustion, overwhelm, fear or anxiety, but at the core, it’s low self-worth.

In her second book, Sunday Times bestselling author and psychotherapist Anna Mathur will set you on a journey towards greater self-worth. Anna will use her personal and professional insight to guide you to a place of balance that will allow you to recognise and appreciate your self-worth, build your self-esteem, grow in confidence and worry less about what other people think.

After coming terrifyingly close to suicide, Jake Tyler was determined to take back control of his life from the clutches of depression.

With only a pair of walking boots and a backpack, he left his home town of Maldon and began a 3000-mile walk around the British mainland. In documenting every step of his adventure, Jake shares the ways in which his road to recovery was enhanced by the kindness of strangers, who helped him to better understand himself and the power of human connection.

This is the story of Jake’s journey around the UK, and of his journey to finding peace within himself and the world around him.

Join body positivity advocate Nia the Light on an empowering journey towards self-love, confidence, individuality and learning to love yourself, just as you are.

What if you celebrated everything that makes you unique, and embraced every flaw and imperfection? Nia the Light can help you achieve this. She knows what it’s like to strive to be the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect boss. She knows how hard it is to struggle under the weight of her own expectations. She knows how to help you on this journey, because she’s lived through it, learnt from it, and blossomed because of it.

The Book of Light is your travel companion on your own journey of self-discovery, guiding you every step of the way. Nia explores how to move from pain to joy, insecurity to confidence, to help you find your own individuality and power. Through the guided journaling and self-care suggestions you too will learn to love yourself, just as you are.

A memoir of bikes, blogs and riding through depression from award-winning blogger, Lady Vélo.

Jools Walker re-discovered cycling aged twenty-eight after a ten-year absence from the saddle. When she started blogging about her cycle adventures under the alias Lady Vélo, a whole world was opened up to her. But it’s hard to find space in an industry not traditionally open to women - especially women of colour.

Shortly after getting back on two wheels, Jools was diagnosed with depression and then, in her early thirties, hit by a mini-stroke. Yet, through all of these punctures, one constant remained: Jools’ love of cycling.

In Back in the Frame Jools talks to the other female trailblazers who are disrupting the cycling narrative as well as telling the story of how she overcame her health problems, learned how to cycle her own path and even found a love of Lycra shorts along the way.

One night three years ago Josh Roberts went to a party. The next morning he awoke to discover his mind had collapsed.

In a matter of days he went from being a fun loving, seemingly successful twenty-something to a hot mess of tears and nerves. Eventually he was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Since then, he’s been mending his mind, rediscovering happiness and learning to live his nervous life. Anxious Man is the story of all this.

Told with originality, wit and great humour, it’s an essential guide for mental health and a thought-provoking exploration of the millennial condition.

To understand how to empower yourself, first of all you have to recognize and accept your vulnerability.

In Stronger, Gareth shares how he has managed to deal with the adversity life has thrown at him over the years, from his school years to his most recent difficult announcement that he is living with HIV.

Gareth’s incredible willingness to expose his deepest emotional frailties as a man and come through even stronger as a result have made him a national hero and a role model for us all. Whether he is confronting the physical challenges of an Iron Man, or the mental resilience needed to be true to who you are, or weighing the medals and trophies he’s won alongside the mistakes he’s made, Gareth is unwaveringly honest.

An inspirational rallying call, Stronger is a vital read for anyone who wants to turn their fear into a strength and to not only survive, but to thrive.

We are not born hating our bodies. Make sure your kids never do.

No parent wants their child to grow up with anything less than wholehearted confidence in themselves. Sadly research shows that children as young as five are saying they need to ‘go on a diet’ and over half of 11 to 16-year-olds regularly worry about the way they look. Campaigner and mum-of-two-girls Molly Forbes is here to help.

In Body Happy Kids, Molly draws on her own experience and a range of experts to provide parents with a much-needed antidote to the confusing health advice that bombards us every day. This reassuring and practical guide covers everything you need to help your child to care for their body with kindness, including how to approach good nutrition (without falling for diet culture), how to see the reality behind beauty ideals and how social media can be used to support body confidence rather than destroy it. With Molly’s help, you can arm yourself with the insight and tools to raise resilient children who love the skin they’re in.

​Running For My Life:

Suffering from depression but desperate for ‘normality’, Rachel Cullen found herself in failing relationships, the wrong career and a reliance on alcohol and chocolate to get her through each day. Stuck in an endless cycle of mental misery, she put on a pair of old trainers.

She’d never been able to think of herself as a ‘runner’ before, and the first time she forced herself out the door, she knew it would hurt. Everywhere. She just didn’t realise how much it would heal her, too.

A Midlife Cyclist:

Rachel is a cyclist. But she was never meant to be.

After gaining mental strength and healing through running, she thought she was free. Her depression alleviated, she came off antidepressants, winning races and collecting medals at marathons.

But when an injury stopped the only thing helping to quiet the voices in her brain, Rachel found out what she is truly made of. As body dysmorphia began to grip her in earnest, she knew she had to find a different way to kick her mental health demons for the sake of her sanity.

So, she went down to her cellar, heaved out her old bike, and started pedalling.

Like her life depended on it.

A Midlife Cyclist is a tale of two wheels, across the Yorkshire Dales, Vietnam,­ Costa Rica and beyond, and a rider in search of peace.

You Are Positively Awesome is a colourful and practical book for an everyday burst of positivity and an extra dose of self-kindness.

We all weather some difficult days, sometimes we just wake up needing a bit of a boost and a reminder that nobody really has it all together all the time. This book is for all those days – a rainbow of good vibes, full of self-care prompts and words to live by.

Sometimes it feels as though we are the only ones struggling. We’re juggling too many balls and comparing our wobbly days to a constant stream of shiny, staged social media photos. We lose our sparkle and forget all about self-love and self-kindness. Even though deep down we know it’s okay not to be okay, we all need a bit of a reminder from time to time. This book is full of memos, activities and friendly advice; it’s a real-life antidote to life.

It’s 1994. The music industry is mourning Kurt Cobain, Right Said Fred have re-emerged as an ‘ironic’ pop act and John Major is the country’s prime minister. Nothing is as it should be.

Emma is hurtling towards her 27th birthday, riddled with anxiety that her idols Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison all died aged 27, and now Kurt Cobain has gone too. Will Emma be next to join The Twenty Seven Club?

Emma, a working-class rock music fan from Hull, with a penchant for a flaming Drambuie and a line of coke with her best mate Dave down The Angel, is troubled. Trev, her whippet, has IBS, and her job ordering bathroom supplies at the local caravan company is far from challenging. So when her dad, Tel, informs her that her music idol, Kurt Cobain has killed himself aged 27, Emma is consumed with anxiety.

Why have so many legendary musicians gone aged 27? Is there a link between the members of the so-called Twenty Seven Club? Is this why her mum had an affair and left them? And could Emma be about to join The Twenty Seven Club too?

The 27 Club is a nostalgic, often humorous, drug and booze-infused tale of friendship, discovery and anxiety as Emma tries, for once, to focus on life, rather than death.

Sue Young has never asked for much apart from a quiet life. She’s always been happy with her call centre job and dinner on the table at six o clock; that was until a tragedy tore her tranquility into little shreds.

With her life in tatters, Sue is persuaded to join a charity cycle ride led by Morning TV’s Kath Fuller, who is having a crisis of her own, and Sue’s self-appointed support crew are struggling with their own issues. Pensioner Flo Wilson is refusing to grow old, gracefully or otherwise, and a teen goth Raven Chakrabarti, is determined to dodge the path her family have mapped out for her.

Can the foursome cycle through saddle sores and chaffed thighs to a brighter future, or will pushing themselves to the limit prove harder than they thought?

Everybody worries and that’s OK.

This reassuring and practical picture book combines helpful tips endorsed by clinical psychologists with fun rhyming couplets and colourful pictures to help children open up about their feelings and get anxiety under control.

The perfect book to soothe worries during stressful times, which can be a great springboard into having important conversations with your child.

Having the WORST DAY EVER? Turn that frown upside down in this wiggling, hooting, roaring adventure from picture book superstar, Sophy Henn!

Arthur is having the WORST DAY EVER. So he runs away - nearly to the end of the garden.

But when it’s time to go home, Arthur’s journey back is full of surprises and he learns how to turn a stomp into a skip, a huff into a hoot and a roar into a song!

Maybe Arthur’s day isn’t so bad after all…

Find out in this joyful adventure from the brilliant Sophy Henn. A fantastic and imaginative take on how to get creative during even the most turbulent of tantrums – the perfect book for parents when their little people are having the Worst Day Ever!

The exquisite and thought-provoking new book from the multi award-winning, internationally best-selling picture book creator of Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers.

Well, hello.
And welcome to this Planet.
We call it Earth.

Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else… Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind.

Here We Are is the utterly heartfelt new book from Oliver Jeffers. We’re glad you found it.

Emmy is brilliant at the computer game, Illusory Isles. Her avatar is a powerful fire elemental with magma claws and flaming breath. When Emmy’s gaming video gets a front-page feature, thousands of devoted fans flock to watch her battle the ultimate online baddie, the Mulch Queen herself.

Life at school is the exact opposite. Emmy is friendless and bullied by Vanessa AKA the Queen of Mean. To Vanessa and her gang, Emmy is a weirdo with bad handwriting, horrible fashion sense and no dad.

But if Emmy can take on the Mulch Queen online, perhaps she can also find a way to take on Vanessa too? Emmy decides to level up and solve this challenge alone. But then Emmy discovers that Mulch Queens and Mean Queens are much easier to face when you have a little help from new friends . . .

A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard?

A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy.