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Mental Health Resources for Teachers

What to Read?

Tinlids book description and theme guide for a variety of ages:

Mental Health Awareness

Titles to help students understand a little more about a friend, classmate or family member with mental health problems.

Statistics indicate that one in five students is impacted by mental health issues. These books feature children and adults who suffer from mental distress, anxiety, addictions, and other mental health illnesses that affect their relationships and ability to cope in the world. Hopefully these titles will help children understand a little more about a friend, classmate or family member with mental health problems. – Maria Martella 

Get the Guide:


Titles and descriptions from: Healthier Minds Through Songs and Rhymes: Integrating the Arts for Positive Mental Health in Schools

OddreyOddrey by Dave Whamond. Owl Kids, 2012. PS8645.H34 O33 2012 juv

Brief Synopsis: Oddrey is a girl who does everything her own way. She likes acting how she wants because she is happy with herself, but she also gets lonely when no one wants to be friends with her. Eventually Oddrey’s free spirit and creative way of doing things saves the day and her classmates realize that being a little “odd” can be a great thing.

How it relates to mental health: Being ok with who you are is a hard skill to master, and being ok with people who are different than you can be another hard thing for children to learn. This book helps deliver the messages that our differences can make us really special, and come in handy, and that we should accept people for who they are. It can help students with their own self-concept as well as how they relate to others.

It's OK to be DifferentIt’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr. Little Brown and Company, 2001.

Brief Synopsis: In this simplistic and colourful book, the author brilliantly illustrates the many ways that we can all be different.

How it relates to mental health: This is a very safe and engaging way to teach children to embrace differences. In life we have to be ok with our own differences and support others who are different than us. It is a helpful way to make connections with our own lives and to express empathy for those who have challenges, all the while embracing our many forms of diversity.


Princess BoyMy Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone. Alladin, 2010. HQ1075 .K535 2010 juv

Brief Synopsis: This is a true story of a four year old “Princess boy” who loves the colour pink and dressing up in nice dresses. While many people are nice to him and accept him for who he is, there are some people who think that “boys shouldn’t wear dresses” and this makes the Princess Boy and his family upset. It carries a strong message of acceptance and the need for compassion in our lives.

How it relates to mental health: There are many ways people can be different from the norm, and this book is a great example at looking at one story and inspiring children to like each other for who they are.ety.

More Picture Books


And Tango makes ThreeAnd Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell illustrated by Henry Cole. Simon and Schuster, 2005. PS3618.I3447 A76 2005t juv

Brief Synopsis: Two male penguins fall in love at the central park zoo, and with the help of the zookeepers, they are given their own chance at having a family.

How it relates to mental health: Children need to know that there are all kinds of families, and they should be comfortable with this diversity so they will accept peers and themselves.

Ten Thousand Dresses10 000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert, illustrations by Rex Ray. Seven Stories Press, 2008.

Brief Synopsis: Bailey goes to bed every night dreaming of beautiful dresses. But when she wakes up, her parents don’t understand because they say she’s a boy and boy’s don’t wear dresses.

How it relates to mental health: it is important for teachers and students to understand that there are many ways to express gender and that its ok to be yourself, no matter what other people think. Hopefully more exposure to characters who do not follow the social norms of gender expression, more tolerance can be built in the classroom and in society


Books for Teens

Search the catalogue for subject : Mental illness--Juvenile fiction.