My name is Rachel and I have suffered with depression and anxiety for more than a decade of my life and one of the things I have realised is that (especially in western society) we don't seem to want to talk about mental health until it becomes a serious problem. Working with a child psychologist and primary years educators I created 'Harriet and the Blue Monkey' as a way to try and get children recognising, understanding and talking about mental health way earlier than I did.
The book is for parents, mental health workers, schools and I'd love for it to be a resource for talking about mental health.
The book takes relatable problems such as struggling with schoolwork, or feeling less popular and self-comparison and explains how leaving those problems to grow can invite a blue monkey into your life. The story follows Harriet as her blue monkey grows and grows until he has become so large that she doesn't know what to do anymore.
It offers children practical advice for helping themselves and others through difficult times and sets in place good mental health focused habits such as self awareness and talking about problems early on that can help children to build more resilience and cope with life's ups and downs.
The back of the book features questions and conversation topics for parents and teachers to help talk with children about the book, how they or others are feeling and how they can try to help.
I am aiming to raise £4000 which would be enough for me to complete a first print run of 1000 hardcover books and accompanying shipping. (the book in the photos is a test print and the only physical copy I have of the book)
I hope to achieve this goal by March 2021 but am aware that it may take longer to reach the target amount and will keep people updated with the progress as we go.
I truly believe that if we can get children talking about, understanding and practising good mental health behaviours from a young age we can help them to be better prepared for their lives ahead. If I can help just one child better navigate the sort feelings and experiences I have had with depression then I will consider that a huge success.
I am so grateful to anyone who wants to support the project and help me get this first print run done so I can get the book out there!
- Debs & Geoff Brydon
- Anne Elliott
- Christian Jung
- Mike MacIntyre
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