Mind Your Head (A Review, Not A Warning)

Um . . . this is a non-fiction book. I don't usually read non-fiction, let alone review it, so if I make a terrible mistake and fall flat on my blogger face, bear with me, okay?

Hopefully, I'm fabulous enough to do this brilliant - and absolutely important - book justice.

It's basically a book about mental health for teens. I say "basically" because there are probably a thousand books about mental health out there for teens, but (as far as I'm aware) none of them are anything like this one. It's absolutely, undeniably...


You wouldn't think it was possible to write a book that normalises such a taboo topic without trivialising it, but if anyone can do it, it's Juno Dawson. And boy, has she. By starting the book with an explanation of how we all have to think about our mental health - because it turns out that we all have brains - she single-handedly manages to remind even the reader most removed from those "issues" that the topic is relevant to them too.

The cartoons help.

If I had one complaint about this book - and it's really hard to find, let me tell you - it would be that maybe it assumes very little knowledge on the part of the reader? That's a good thing, now I think about it. I love the fact that young teenagers especially will be able to access this fabulous resource, and that nobody will feel shut out from it. It's just that, if you know a bit more about certain aspects of mental health, you might not learn as much. But that doesn't mean that it isn't worth reading! You'll still learn stuff! And even be entertained. (No seriously, it's FUNNY. However impossible that sounds in a teen book about depression and body issues and all those other serious things.)

One part of Mind Your Head that I found really interesting, or useful, or fascinating, or whatever adjective you prefer, was the case studies. No-one can truly understand what it's like to deal with mental health issues like those who are dealing with them, or have dealt with them, after all, and the empathy that is created just from being able to read their own words and then have those words backed up with a simple description of their diagnosis. It might be impossible to quantify exactly what gives this book its perfect balance between friendly advice and doctorly knowledge, but that combination must have something to do with it.
To conclude this horribly messy review (I told you I wasn't used to non-fiction), you'll just have to trust me and read this book. Please? It's incredibly important for everyone to understand mental health, so that they can look after themselves more than anything, and I truly believe that Mind Your Head is an amazing way to do that, especially as a younger teenager or someone who feels a little outfaced by the whole thing. But everyone needs to read it really. Throw it at your friends. Your enemies. The family dog.

Even the cats will need to step up at some point.
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