International Youth Day: Mental Health Matters

Did you know that the United Nations celebrates youth every year on August 12? International Youth Day has been happening since 1999, and this year's theme is Mental Health Matters. This day raises awareness and works to drop the stigma attached to mental illness and youth affected by it around the world.

Have you ever felt depressed, alone or anxious, or do you have a friend who has shared feeling this way with you? You are not alone. The following books, and this Mental Health Matters booklist, display a variety of issues that teens are dealing with every day through honest voices and experiences.

Mental Health Information for Teens is a great resource for anyone who has questions about all the different mental health issues that teens deal with today. It also provides a ton of extra resource information and covers everything from running away to eating disorders to love and heartbreak.

The graphic novel How I Made It to Eighteen may not be a completely true story, but it draws from the author's life. The simple black and white illustrations express a lot of emotion and you gradually get to see the main character Stacy change her perspective, which of course offers some hope.

The emotional pain that DeQuincy Lezine faced as a teenager caused him to attempt suicide. In Eight Stories Up, he documents how he dealt with such a dark day and all it took to turn his life around. It provides a healthy dose of hope and productive ways to deal with the dark moments in your life.