The Covid-19 pandemic is a considerable source of worry for children and families, and 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.
A recent UNICEF report found that children and young people in Ireland are struggling with their mental health, with Ireland placing 26th in the survey of 38 OECD countries when it comes to the mental wellbeing of children.
Books can provide comfort to readers during a difficult time and there is robust evidence to support this: 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.
The Mind Yourself reading guide is a resource that can be used by adults – parents, guardians, caregivers, teachers – to support and educate young people in relation to mental health and wellbeing. The guide contains reviews and recommendations of over 400 books for children and young people from birth to age eighteen and 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.
The guide is available free of charge through libraries in the Republic of Ireland and a digital version below.
There are lots of great books and advice for children in the guide. Adults can learn more about staying positive in this recent RTÉ Brainstorm item: Mental Health Tips
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Don't forget that the Home School Hub crew are always here to help too! Tune in every weekday from 10am on RTÉ2 and then again in the evening with After School Hub at 3.15pm!