Kids are more precious than gems. So it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure they’re happy–well, except for when we ground them. But as much as we hate it, we can’t always make our kids feel happy, or worse, prevent them from developing a mental illness. Which is why there’s one thing kids need to do: learn about mental health…just in case mental health takes a turn for the worse and our ever-lasting hugs can’t seem to make it better. And this isn’t exclusive for kids who have mental illnesses; all kids need to not only know how to handle negative thoughts, but also how to be sensitive to others who may be struggling.
Kristen Legault-Donkers, an 18-year-old from St. Thomas, Ontario, is an inspiration to us all. She’s written four children’s books on mental health, which are based on her own experiences with depression and anxiety growing up. All in hopes of teaching children how to cope with mental illness. The books even come with an information page of local mental health resources for those struggling, so they’re pretty great learning tools.
Each book (Zoey Has Very Glum Days, Zoey Has Worry Thoughts, Zack’s Moods Are Like A Roller Coaster and Zack, The Very Busy Kid), explores a serious mental illness: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and ADHD.
Lagault-Donkers’ website explains how each book accomplishes tasks like describing the symptoms of the illness, stressing how important medication and counselling are and suggests ways to talk about their feelings to their family and friends. Lagault-Donkers may be young, but she’s about to change the lives of countless children and teens for the better.
There’ll be a book launch for her children’s mental health series this Saturday at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pinafore Park in St. Thomas, Ontario. You can also buy Lagault-Donkers’ books here for $12.99/book.