A gift to treasure
Literature and mental health have been courting each other for centuries. We all want to stay in good mental and physical health. But life’s pitfalls may decide otherwise. When depression hits, it can seem like there’s no remedy. Gladly, that isn’t true. In addition to the help of a mental health professional and of medication should the need arise, reading and writing can help us find comfort, clarity, and balance, and come out of the ordeal stronger. The readings suggested here aim to provide a means of breaking with isolation and dismantling prejudices associated with various forms of mental illness or developmental disabilities (e.g., anorexia, depression, autism and others), as well as combatting certain factors sometimes associated with these, such as homophobia and intimidation. To these we’ve added writing prompts, for another way of leaning on words. You’ll also find testimonials from authors and specialists, because none of us are alone in this.
BOOKS TO SEE IT ALL MORE CLEARLY
Literary works can be a lifeline for people contending with mental health problems. We’re never really alone when reading a good novel or a poem that goes straight for the heart. Here’s a selection of titles to see things a little more clearly with the help of certain fictional characters.
Room, Emma Donoghue, 2010
Cockroach, Rawi Hage, House of Anansi, 2009
That Time I Loved You, Carianne Leung, HarperCollins, 2018
All my Puny Sorrows, Miriam Toews, Vintage Canada, 2014
Magnetic Equator, Kaie Kellough, McClelland & Stewart, 2019
The Eyelid, S.D. Chrostowska, Coach House Books, 2020