Monday, 8 February 2016
Mind Your Head - Juno Dawson
From the critically acclaimed author of THIS BOOK IS GAY, James Dawson, now writing as Juno Dawson. We all have a mind, so we all need to take care of our mental health as much as we need to take care of our physical health. And the first step is being able to talk about our mental health. Juno Dawson leads the way with this frank, factual and funny book, with added information and support from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people's mental health - whether fleeting or long-term - and how to manage them,with real-life stories from young people around the world. With witty illustrations from Gemma Correll.
There's a real need for more accessible, age appropriate non-fiction specifically for young adults. After all, they're going through a lot of the same issues as their not-so-young adult counterparts and the self-help section in bookshops seems to be growing at a ridiculously fast rate.
In Mind Your Head, Juno Dawson talks frankly about mental health issues - including sharing her own experiences - and the result is an entertaining and informative guide to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bullying, peer pressure and many more relevant-to-teen topics. It's almost like chatting with a straight-talking, no nonsense friend, as Juno brings a touch of humour to some sensitive subjects. There were times where, as someone who suffers with anxiety and body confidence issues, I personally would have preferred a gentler approach, but I'm aware hyper-sensitivity is part of my own mental health make up. And of course, many people respond well to a frank message as opposed to the softy-softly pussyfooting I favour.
The illustrations from Gemma Correll add to the non-threatening package of Mind Your Head and I can imagine it'll appeal to the target audience - and anything that encourages taking responsibility for your own wellbeing (and this goes for all age groups) can only be a good thing.
I really hope this flies off the shelves - honestly, every school library should have a copy of this book.
Mind Your Head is out now, published by Hot Key Books.
With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.