6 Novels That Explore Mental Health

There are libraries and libraries full of beautifully written books on mental health, but how do you know which ones are worth the read? Here are a few acclaimed novels that look at mental health in teens and are written for teens.

Wintergirls” by Laurie Halse Anderson

Two best friends are fighting to see who can be the thinnest, but when one dies, the other is left to recover on her own. She must find the strength within her fragile body to overcome her anorexia and bring herself back to life.

These Gentle Wounds” by Helen Dunbar

After growing up in an abusive home, a young man finds peace living with his half brother until his biological father comes back into the picture. Helen Dunbar’s debut novel takes the reader through a young boy’s trauma and the PTSD he suffers as a teenager.

3986164316_75dc4355ac_bImage: Viviana Calderon

Looking for Alaska” by John Green

A teen boy finds himself amongst a new group of people when he moves from his Florida home to a boarding school in Alabama. These new friends drink, do drugs and cut all while trying to get through school. This story looks at the lives of kids, their painful pasts and their potentially self-destructive ways.

All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

This is a coming-together story of two unlikely teenage friends and how they save each other from suicidal thoughts. She’s the popular one and he’s the freak, but through their adventures they begin to heal.

I Was Here” by Gayle Forman

Two young teens—a boy and a girl—have been inseparable most of their lives and plan to leave their small town upon graduation. But their plans are tossed to the wind when the girl commits suicide. Her friend works to put together the pieces of how he didn’t see it coming and why she chose to end her life.

Hate List” by Jennifer Brown

A young girl’s life changes when her boyfriend shoots up their school, killing 7 people before taking his own life. People in the community, including her parents, believe she was involved. However a police investigation reveals she had nothing to do it. She bravely returns to school where she deals with pain everyday. This story looks at her struggle, her strength and her loss.

These are only a handful of a tons of great books that cover mental health, so don’t stop here. Ask your librarian, search online or go to your local bookstore to find more titles you might enjoy. 

Feature Image: Ginny