On April 28, 2016, President Barack Obama proclaimed May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. He stated:
“[W]e recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real.”
Issues involving mental health care and wellness have been observed in the month of May since 1949 by Mental Health America (MHA) and other organizations. MHA’s mission is to advocate for prevention, identification, intervention, and overall mental health. The picture, middle grade, and young adult books listed deal with a number of issues, such as bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and suicide. All are fiction, and like the books featured for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, may offer some insight and reflection and spark conversations. Mental health issues are rife with stigma and misinformation. To learn more about mental health see the sources and additional reading below.