For more than 70 years, Mental Health America has set aside the month of May as a time to raise awareness about mental health. Millions of Americans face the difficult reality of living with mental illness, and these conditions are frequently met with stigmas strong enough to prevent those afflicted from seeking help. Discussing mental health openly and honestly can help to fight these stigmas and, after living with the stress of the pandemic for more than a year, this process is more important than ever.
To commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month 2021, the library has put together a reading list featuring books that put a human face and story on mental health conditions, as well as titles that suggest tips and strategies for mental well-being.
“Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins—aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony—and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?
What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.” -Goodreads.com
“One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.
As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.
With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.” -Goodreads.com
“Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every single day? Do you find yourself listening to a voice in your head that says “you’re not good enough,” “not good-looking enough,” “not thin enough,” or “not smart enough?” Have you ever found yourself unable to do homework or pay attention in class unless everything is “just so” on your desk? Everyone has had days like that, but what if you have them every day?
You’re not alone. Millions of people are going through similar things. And many of them are people you know—you know them because they write the books that you’re reading.
Life Inside My Mind is an anthology of true-life events from writers of this generation, for this generation. It takes aim at ending the shame of mental illness. With the intention of providing hope to those who are suffering, awareness to those who are witnessing a friend or family member battle mental illness, and opening the floodgates to conversations about mental illness, Side Effects tackles the stigmas around mental illness in a new and refreshing way.” -Goodreads.com
If you have any questions about putting these books on hold, please leave a comment below, call the Reference Desk at 732-873-8700 ext. 111, or send us a message on our chat service.
Thanks for reading,