Children’s Books Ireland launch mental health reading guide | Jigsaw

Children’s Books Ireland launch reading guide

Children’s Books Ireland launch reading guide

Wednesday, 07 October 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is a considerable source of worry for children and families. Young people are having to cope with big changes at home and at school.

In response, Children’s Books Ireland, in partnership with Jigsaw and ISPCC Childline, launched “Mind yourself – the mental health and wellbeing reading guide” on Monday, 5th October ahead of World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day, 10th October is an international event that promotes mental health education and awareness. A recent UNICEF report found that children and young people in Ireland are struggling with their mental health.

In a survey of 38 OCED countries, Ireland is number 26 when it comes to the mental wellbeing of children. Books can provide comfort to readers during a difficult time. There is robust evidence to support that reading for pleasure can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing.

Banner image on Children’s Books Ireland mental health and wellbeing reading guide
Reading for pleasure can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, can build empathy in children and young people and is positively linked to better outcomes in later life.

Wellbeing 'first-aid' kit

The Mind Yourself reading guide can be used by adults to support and educate young people about mental health and wellbeing. The guide contains reviews and recommendations of over 400 books for children and young people from birth to age eighteen.

It is designed as a ‘first-aid kit’ for worries, sadness, loneliness, anxiety and any number of feelings that a young person may want to explore.

Mind Yourself also contains mental health and wellbeing information from Jigsaw and ISPCC Childline, including tips and coping strategies for young people and advice for adults on supporting children to build resilience.

Elaina Ryan
Children’s Books Ireland
We want our guides to enable children and young people to find the right book for them at a particular time, and if they’re struggling, to tóg sos le scéal or lighten the load with a book.

Speaking about the partnership, Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said:
 

“Mind Yourself was born in a pandemic and is published during an unprecedented time as children and young people return to school following a period of isolation. We want to recognise the very valid feelings that may arise during this time and to provide support for adults who may need a way to start a difficult conversation with a younger person, perhaps by reading a story aloud with them, by leaving a book on their bed with a note or by giving them this guide with a book token to find their own way through it. As always, we want our guides to enable children and young people – with the help of a family member, carer, teacher or librarian – to find the right book for them at a particular time, and if they’re struggling, to tóg sos le scéal or lighten the load with a book.”

Dr Joseph Duffy
CEO of Jigsaw
We know from our Read Your Mind project the power of reading as therapy in supporting mental health and wellbeing. The power of stories and words in helping guide and support both adults and young people

Caroline O’Sullivan, Director of Services for ISPPCC Childline has also welcomed the partnership, she added:
 

“ISPCC Childline is delighted to be included in Children’s Books Ireland’s Mind Yourself – The Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide and to provide guidance for children, young people and parents/carers on building resilience and looking after their mental health,’ said. ‘Reading is an important activity for children and young people, it can provide an escape and allows our minds to be creative which can help in boosting our moods. Childline receives over 1,000 contacts a day every day from children and young people across Ireland on childline.ie and our volunteers help make sure every child and young person in Ireland always has somewhere they can turn.”

Mental health and wellbeing reading guide

The books recommended in Mind Yourself  cover the following issues:

Mind Yourself – The Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide is available free of charge through every library authority in the Republic of Ireland. A digital version can be viewed or downloaded here.

For more information, visit the Children’s Books Ireland website here.

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