Parents & carers have told us that they find books really useful when it comes to understanding and exploring mental health. In this section you will find recommendations of books that would be useful to read with your child and talk about them. It’s a great way to explore mental health, their feelings and emotions in an age appropriate way.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues children and young people experience. Below is a list of books for helping children with anxiety which you can read together.
What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids)
What to Do When You Worry Too Much is an interactive book designed for 6-12 year olds to help them know what to do when they feel worried or anxious. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change.
Written by a clinical psychologist, this book was conceived after she saw a need for practical take-home help for the children she was seeing in her office.
Learning to deal with anxiety is an important step in a child’s healthy emotional growth. Worries and fears have a way of getting bigger when we don’t talk about them. Conquering fears, and not avoiding them, is the lesson imparted in this story.
This book illustrates this well, and also shows children how problems can begin to feel more manageable when talked about and shared with parents and other trusted adults who can help.
This critically acclaimed book addresses childhood worries with humour and are effectively illustrated throughout, this makes it both relatable and entertaining for children.
Children will also learn techniques for working through their worries, through creative problem-solving.
Sea Otter Cove: A Stress Management Story for Children Introducing Diaphragmatic Breathing to Lower Anxiety, Control Anger, and Promote Peaceful Sleep
Sea Otter Cove is a story that teaches children how to use deep breathing to calm down, lower stress, and control anger. Ideal for older children or those with a longer attention span.
The charming characters teach children how to relax through breathing, and encourage children to use the techniques to help fall asleep.
Little Mouse has many fears, and each one is described throughout this beautifully laid out, mixed media book. There are pages that fold out, and the child is encouraged to list and draw their own fears, as Little Mouse has already done.
Because of the layout of the book and the use of technical terms, it is a book for younger children to have read to them by an adult, or for older children.
By the author of Sea Otter Cove, this book also helps promote proper breathing and introduces children to calming techniques that can help a child through times of anxiety and worry.
Both the boy and the bear demonstrate good breathing habits, and reading this before bedtime will certainly have a positive effect on sleep.
This book is excellent for children who struggle with feelings of panic and panic attacks, it teaches skills that children will find useful.
There is a repetitiveness to the text that is calming, and children will be able to see themselves in the situations that Annika finds herself in and starting to panic, and learn from how she calms herself each time.
Wemberely is a mouse who worries about everything, and by the end of the book, she is beginning to realize that much of what she worries about, has no cause for worry.
This is a book which portrays unique personalities of young children which makes it enjoyable and relatable for them.
This book is designed to help children feel more in control of their worry, and their ability to manage and work through it.
It also is good for guiding children to be able to identify their anxiety and what is causing it.
This is a book kids can turn to when they need advice, reassurance, and ideas.
A great resource for older children, this book is broken down into parts that help give children methods and tools for dealing with their anxiety, while also explaining some of the more serious problems involved with anxiety and the need for counseling, in some children, to help work through it.
This book is written for children with autism, who are also dealing with anxiety.
Self-calming techniques and a number rating scale, for identifying levels of anxiety are some of the many techniques presented.
You can read the original article which includes further reading suggestions here.