A Mental Health Picture Book for Kids – Free Signed Copy
The Bipolar Burble blog welcomes Karen Tyrrell back. Karen is an Australian author and teacher and she has written a new book Baily Beats the Blah. This is a picture book that aims to help kids develop more awareness around mental health and build up mental health coping skills.
Leave a comment below to be entered to win a free, signed copy of the book.
1. After writing two bipolar recovery memoirs, Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness and Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery, why did you write a children’s book?
I’m passionate about mental health for kids and grown-ups. My goal is to return to school as a teacher-author-story teller. Using Bailey Beats the Blah, I want to boost children’s self-esteem, emotional awareness and resilience skills. My philosophy is: Prevention is FAR better than cure.
2. How did Bailey Beats the Blah come about?
As a teacher I came across so many kids like Bailey. Kids, who experienced sad days, worry thoughts and tummy aches brought on by stress. I made a decision to write a narrative story, to empower children with coping and resilience skills.
School counsellors say reading a child a picture book is the best way to change a children’s thinking and behaviour. It’s all about giving the power back to the child. Making him/her responsible for his/her actions
4. What’s your advice to parents, who wish to improve their child’s self-esteem and coping skills.
Read Bailey Beats the Blah to the child encouraging an emotional response. And then ask: When has the child ever felt: blah or had a bad day. Follow up with a discussion of how did Bailey turn his BLAH into HA-HA-HA? Act out the story using puppets from my website.
5. Is this book supposed to be dealing with mental illness or mental health in general?
Both. Bailey is for kids 4 to 8 years old. Families with mental illness will benefit as the story opens up discussions on mental health, mental illness, wellness, resilience, anxiety, depression … and bipolar.
Simple resilience strategies are demonstrated through the actions and words of the characters: Bailey, Mum, Tom, Miss Darling (the teacher) and Fuzzy the dog.
6. And what are those resilience strategies? Are there any messages about mental illness?
Kids who are experiencing sad days (depression), worry thoughts (anxiety) and tummy aches can turn their BLAH into Ha-Ha-Ha.
With simple changes to their daily routine: exercising every day, engaging in fun activities they enjoy, daily journaling, sharing with a friend, spending time with their pet and positive thinking.
School counsellors recommend picture books to empower kids, changing their perceptions, habits and behaviour.
Karen is offering free children’s activities and teacher notes through her website to spring board discussion around emotional health and wellness, including sadness, depression, resilience, and coping strategies.
And don’t forget, leave a comment below to get your own free, signed copy of the book. (Winners announced November 20th.)