Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
★ “Informative, diverse, and highly engaging; a much-needed addition to the realm of mental health.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Featuring real-life stories of people who have found hope and meaning in the midst of life’s struggles, Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health is the go-to guide for teenagers who want to know about mental health, mental illness, trauma and recovery. For too long, mental health problems have been kept in the shadows, leaving people to suffer in silence, or worse, to be feared, bullied or pushed to the margins of society where survival is difficult.
This book shines a light on the troubled history of thinking about and treating mental illness and tells the stories of courageous pioneers in the field of psychiatry who fought for more compassionate, respectful and effective treatments. It provides a helpful guide to the major mental health diagnoses along with ideas and resources to support those who are suffering. But it also moves beyond a biomedical focus and considers the latest science that shows how trauma and social inequality impact mental health. The book explores how mental health is more than just “in our heads” and includes the voices of Indigenous people who share a more holistic way of thinking about wellness, balancing mind, body, heart and spirit. Highlighting innovative approaches such as trauma-informed activities like yoga and hip-hop, police mental health teams, and peer support for youth, Heads Up shares the stories of people who are sparking change.
About the authors
Melanie Siebert is a youth and family counsellor in Victoria, British Columbia. She works with people to transform depression, anxiety, trauma, and inner conflict into meaning, purpose, and hope. She also specializes in suicide intervention and prevention. Melanie has a Master of Social Work and a Master of Fine Arts. She has also worked as an emergency medical technician, a river guide and a creative writing instructor. Her first poetry collection, Deepwater Vee (McClelland & Stewart), was a finalist for Canada's Governor General's Literary Award.
Belle Wuthrich is an illustrator and designer specializing in books for young readers. Based in Vancouver, Belle has contributed to more than a dozen books for kids, a number of which have won awards or been republished internationally, including the Montaigne Medal Award–winning Eyes and Spies: How You’re Tracked and Why You Should Know and the Silver Birch Award nominee Eat Up: An Infographic Exploration of Food.
- Commended, Children’s Book Council & National Council for Social Studies Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
- Winner, The Fitzhenry Family Foundation Lane Anderson Award
- Short-listed, BC and Yukon Book Prizes - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize
- Commended, Ontario Library association (OLA) Best Bets
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
“[A] helpful handbook...In easy-to-read chapters, Siebert skillfully breaks down what mental health is...An informative and nonintimidating work; a suitable addition for libraries needing to add to their mental health collection.”
School Library Journal
“A wonderful introduction to society's ever-evolving relationship with understanding mental illness.”
Canadian Children's Book News
★ “Informative, diverse, and highly engaging; a much-needed addition to the realm of mental health.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A sense of respect imbues every page…Everything in this book reassures the troubled teen that they are not alone, need not suffer in silence, and can forge a unique pathway to wellness. The value of this book cannot be overstated or underestimated.”
School Library Connection
Other titles by Belle Wuthrich
Be a Nature Explorer!
Outdoor Activities and Adventures
Flooding, Climate Change and Our New World
The Wearable-Tech Revolution
Urgent Message from a Hot Planet
Navigating the Climate Crisis
It Takes Guts
How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop)
The Disability Experience
Working Toward Belonging
Choosing to Live, Choosing to Die
The Complexities of Assisted Dying
An Infographic Exploration of Food
Eyes and Spies
How You're Tracked and Why You Should Know
A Visual Exploration