May is Mental Health Month

Published 12:45 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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Mental Health Month was established in 1949 by Mental Health America. Every May, millions of Americans join MHA in promoting awareness, providing vital resources and education, and advocating for the mental health and well-being of all. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is “Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World.” In a world that is constantly evolving, it can be overwhelming to navigate the various challenges and changes happening around us. Visit to learn how modern life affects mental health with new resources to navigate our changing world and to build your coping toolbox so you can manage stress, difficult emotions, and challenging situations. These books listed below may help as well, and are available at the library.



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Calm by Wynne Kinder

Filled with mindfulness activities that teach children how to focus their thoughts and pay attention, with care, to one moment at a time, including breathing exercises, moving the body to unwind stress, and taking a walk in the woods.


The Noise Inside Boys by Pete Oswald

Illustrates how the wide range of emotions we experience can be managed by naming and understanding them, as a young boy experiences overwhelming feelings when he’s teased by his two older brothers.




Heads Up by Melanie Siebert

A guide to understanding mental health and coping with mental illness, trauma, and recovery. It features real-life stories of resilient teens and highlights innovative approaches to mental health challenges.


Your Brain Needs a Hug by Rae Earl

Imbued with a sense of humor, understanding, and hope, this is a judgment-free guide for living well with your mind. When she was a teenager, Rae dealt with OCD, anxiety, and an eating disorder, but she survived, and she thrived. The author offers her personalized advice on the A to Zs of mental health, social media, family, and friendship. 




Logged In and Stressed Out by Paula Durlofsky

Guides readers through social media’s impact on break-ups and infidelities, social distortion and comparison, trauma and triggers, social media binging, depression, anxiety, and other common concerns, using real stories from her own practice to personalize concepts and recommendations. By setting needed limits and embracing new practices, it is possible to improve mental health when using social media. 


Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg

A paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women (those with ADHD, autism, and other sensory processing differences) exploring why these traits are overlooked in women and how society benefits from allowing their unique strengths to flourish. 


Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.