Books on Mental Health

May might be Mental Health Awareness month, but self care doesn’t recognize a calendar. For those who struggle, and even for those just looking to better understand the challenges of those who do, we’ve put together a roundup of titles that tackle mental health from a range of lived experiences and perspectives to help you all year round. No matter what you might be going through, know that you’re never alone.


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Remember, It’s OK series by Marina L. Reed & Marian Grace Boyd (Blue Moon Publishers/Next Chapter Press)

If you’re feeling alone in your grief after losing a loved one, the Remember, It’s OK series offers guidance on your way towards healing. Marina L. Reed and Marian Grace Boyd bring backgrounds in education, psychotherapy and grief counselling—along with their own personal experiences of loss—to the creation of these books, which feature a unique combination of words and a colour paradigm meant to provide insight and help readers identify the power of their emotions along their healing journey. Books in this series include Loss of a Partner; Parent; Pet; Sibling/Friend; Child; and Loss for Teens.In case you missed it, we highly recommend checking out this fantastic interview (via Youtube, at the 33:37 mark) with Remember, It’s Okthat we hosted last year during our Indie Reading Room event.

Conscious De-stress Guide by Lise Leblanc (Blue Moon Publishers)

Those that struggle or who have struggled with managing stress know that there is no easy on/off switch solution. It takes time and practice, and this guide from registered psychotherapist Lise Leblanc is meant to offer a space and strategies to help you manage that stress during life’s most difficult moments in a way that encourages long-term, positive change for your mental health and wellness.

The Pleasure of the Textby Sami Alwani (Conundrum Press)

A lighter approach to the topic of handling life’s stresses, this collection contains 20 tragicomic comics by cartoonist and illustrator Sami Alwani. A talking baby, a half-dog/half-man, and a friendly CBD loving ghost come together across these stories with philosophical musings about society, queerness, identity and culture in a complex world.

Aftermath: A Firefighter’s Life by Bryan Ratushniak (Cormorant Books)

After 32 years of experience working on one of the busiest firetrucks in Canada, Bryan Ratushniak is sharing his story. With a witty touch, this memoir deals with issues of PTSD and the emotional damage that comes from witnessing many horrors while on the job. Ratushniak does not shy away from the hard conversations and the work it takes to maintain his mental health—keeping his personal and professional life in balance.

Ray’s Planet: A Journey Through Autism by Claire Finlayson (Caitlin Press)

A collective memoir between Ray and his sister Claire as they navigate the world from such different perspectives that they seem as though on different planets. As a teen Ray’s struggles with developing social skills lead Claire to make a vow to better understand him and ultimately bridge the gap that separates them. What follows is the correspondence between brother and sister, revealing more of Ray’s inner life as he struggles through suicidal depression and being labelled with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by his sister. What becomes clear is that, in fact, there are many Ray’s in this life, and that to be different doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong.”

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 Check out our additional list of recommended titles about mental health >>