Mental Health Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Overall Rating:

Becky’s Rating:

Sydeny’s Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky gave it 3* and Sydney gave it 4*.

This is a heart-warming novel aimed at young adults. It deals with the stigma and symptoms of mental illness in a teenage world. Audrey is a lovely character who will make you laugh and cry in her story of mental illness. Her new friend Linus stumbles into her life and together they try to solve her issues with romance and friendship. The book has an amazing way of showing the way in which mental health effects the wider family without victimising anyone. Audrey comes across as a fighter and a survivor, her character has a depth and intelligence that can be lost when writing a character who is dealing with mental illness. a

This book is a bright and inspiring story which should be in every secondary school library. It is a great way for young adults to gain an understanding of what it is like to have a mental illness and that people are not alone.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Episode 42 – Attention Deficit Hyperactiveity Disorder (ADHD) with The Secret Psychiatrist

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses mental health in children and adults relating to behavioural and concentration issues.

If you would like more informtation about Eating Disorders you can find this in Episode 33 with The Secret Psychiatrist

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk and additional support you can contact:

Samaritans on:

116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)

Find out more at their website

 

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

0121 522 7007
Rethink Mental Illness Website

Mind The Mental Health Charity

Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
Mind Website

Social Media
Twitter:
Becky: @BLawrence85
Sydney: @sydney_timmins
Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook
Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/
Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Episode 34 – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses suicide, sexual assault, rape, stalking, bullying and depression.

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

Theatre group: Peer Productions – Losing it

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:
Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast
 
Facebook

Episode 32 – Sugar by Deidre Riordan Hall

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses binge eating emotional and physical abuse, tragic death, sexual assault and attempted rape.

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes on you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:
Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast
 
Facebook

Episode 30.1 – Finding Audrey the missing 30 minutes

There seems to have been some technical glitch that has meant some of you have only had the first 30 minutes of the episode on Finding Audrey. If that has happened, we are so sorry and this is the last section of Episode 30.

If you have been able to download Episode 30 and it is 1hr 10 minutes long then you have already had this part of the podcast.

 

Episode 30 – Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses Social Anxiety Disorder

Get the book here

If you cannot wait for our next episodes you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Book 14 – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Book 13 – Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.

Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves.

When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother.

Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.

 

Episode 29 – Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder with The Secret Psychiatrist

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses extreme cruelty to animals.

Get our next book here

The Secret Psychiatrist

www.thesecretpsychiatrist.com

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

If you cannot wait for our next episodes you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

NHS Website Mental Health Resources

Episode 28 – Childhood Abuse with the Secret Psychiatrist

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as neglect. This episode may be distressing to some listners and may not be suitable for younger listners.

Get our next book here

The Secret Psychiatrist

www.thesecretpsychiatrist.com

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

If you cannot wait for our next episodes you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

If you need support with child abuse:

NSPCC 0808 800 5000
 
Childline
0800 1111
 
In the US
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
(1800) 4-A-child
(1800) 422-4453

Research

Call for Participants: Social Media, Young Adults and Wellbeing

Is social media important to you? Do you use it frequently? Is it an everyday part of your life?

We are very interested to hear from you about this.

We are doing research to learn about the way young adults 18 – 34 years use social media, what they use, how much they use it, and why they do.

We are curious to learn from you and your beliefs about the impact that social media has had on your life and those around you, how you feel when using it, and any good and bad things about using social media?

We hope to use your thoughts to help to make social media safer for young adults like you.

This survey is completely anonymous.

We expect that the survey will take around 15 mins to complete

This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne. Human Ethics ID: 1750388

For more information about the project, or to complete the survey, please follow the RedCap Survey link below. You may open the survey in your web browser by clicking the link below: Social media use, young adults and well-being

If the link above does not work, try copying the link below into your web browser: https://redcap.healthinformatics.unimelb.edu.au/surveys/?s=3CM3P3R7HM

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the researchers: Professor Lynette Joubertljoubert@unimelb.edu.au Paul Dodemaidepdodemaide@student.unimelb.edu.au

Book 12 – Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

From the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a story of humour, heart and heartache. Finding Audrey is Sophie Kinsella’s first novel for teens, sure to appeal to her legions of adult and young adult fans all over the world.

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

I think it is a good portrayal of mental health issues but there are certain things that are a bit strange – her almost immediate love for Linus and her mother’s behaviour general but I think that is meant to be humorous

Mental Health Book Review: A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

The Harrison School helps children and teenagers struggling with their mental health to continue with their education whilst being treated for the issues that they are experiencing. At the school, we meet Janina who has been diagnosed with depression and has been at the school for four years and is afraid to leave the schools safety.

Devante has been a witness to a life changing traumatic shooting in which the girl he cared about lost her life and he is finding life difficult. He attempts suicide but is stopped and decides to enrol at the Harrison School. Devante is diagnosed with acute stress disorder and he meets Janina. Their friendship helps them both on their journey to recovery.

As a result of a new addition to the Harrison School team is given a select group of students to look after and as a result starts to question Janina’s diagnosis. After investigation and new research it is decided that Janina is not mentally unwell but has been mis-diagnosed because the people around her failed to acknowledge her intellect. Showing that the labels we take on are fluid and can change over time.

Whilst at the Harrison School Devante begins to see that there are others in a similar situation to him, he is not alone and there are other people who are in a worst position than him.

This book shows the differences between different mental health conditions and their durations. It also shows the fluidity of mental health diagnosis and that labels are not necessarily everything and that treating teenagers as people has a huge beneficial effect.

Listen to our full review at:
Mental Health Book Club Episode 15

Mental Health Book Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney and Becky’s rating:

This book covers the topic of suicide and a suicide pact – if you feel that these topics may trigger you this is not the book for you. If you need urgent help and are in the UK you should call 999. Alternatively you can contact the Smaritans on 116 123 https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us or call Childline for free on 0800 1111 or contact them via their website at https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/

Aysel, a sixteen-year-old who has decided that she wants to die. She finds Roman (Frozen Robot) in an online chatroom for people seeking a suicide partner as she is unsure if she can do this on her own and he has a very over protective mother. Both Asyel and Roman have suffered unimaginable tragedy, a father who has killed and a sister under her brother’s care dies from a seizure in the bath means both don’t want to continue.

As a result of their friendship and the fact that Asyel has someone to talk to about how she feels, she begins to notice her mood changing, and her depression lifting allowing her to see that she doesn’t want to die. However, Roman has a differing opinion and she spends her time trying to convince him to live.

Even though Roman had made up his mind and regardless of him being able to open up to Aysel the main positive message from this book is to talk about how you feel, don’t hide it, because when you are deep in depression you find it hard to see the reality. A very realistic message that can be understood by people who have been touched by depression, and that people who haven’t been there should know.

I think this is a very important topic to explore for all ages. Suicide is not something routinely talked about in general society, but hiding your feelings and any thoughts about suicide is dangerous. There is still so much stigma surrounding suicide that getting help should not be viewed poorly.

I was a little taken aback by some of the language and the concept of suicide pacts and partners in themselves. The advert that is posted by Roman states he doesn’t want a “flake” someone who will back out of the pact and this is referenced several times during the book. My issue here is that there could be some legal ramifications as there have now been cases where people have been prosecuted for encouraging another person to commit suicide (www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tell-someone-to-kill-themselves-and-you-could-end_us_5945800ce4b0940f84fe2f19 and www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-42142969) . I couldn’t help but wonder for a more impressionable person that by telling them I don’t want a flake could add additional pressure if that person changes their mind. (For me as a person with borderline personality disorder and find self-identity tricky I generally go along with the thoughts and opinions of others around me).

Whilst I think this story could happen in reality and that the book covers an important topic, but be aware that some of the language may make you feel conflicted.

Listen to our full review at:
Mental Health Book Club Podcast Episode 11

Episode 15 – A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses suicide, self-harm and violence with guns.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Research Study

www.childcaregiverstudy.co.uk

Contact: r.bishop@herts.ac.uk | Tweet

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Book 7 – A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

Book Blurb

Winner of the 2016 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award for Fiction, Non-Traditionally Published.

On the edge of the Chicago medical district, the Harrison School for Exceptional Youth looks like a castle in a snow globe. Janina has been there since she was ten years old, and now she’s fourteen. She feels so safe inside its walls that she’s afraid to leave.

Devante’s parents bring him there after a tragedy leaves him depressed and suicidal. Even though he’s in a different place, he can’t escape the memories that come flooding back when he least expects them.

Dr. Gail Thomas comes to work there after quitting her medical residency. Frustrated and on the verge of giving up on her dreams, she sees becoming a counselor as her last chance to put her skills to the test.

When he founded the school, Dr. Lutkin designed its unique environment to be a place that would change the students’ lives. He works hard as the keeper of other people’s secrets, though he never shares any of his own.
But everything changes late in the winter of 1994 when these four characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways. None of them will ever be the same.

Find our review of this book in Episode 15

Episode 11 – My Heart and Other Black Holes

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses suicide and depression. Whilst the podcast does not contain explicit language, please be aware that this book does and will so may not be suitable for younger readers.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Research Study

www.childcaregiverstudy.co.uk

Contact: r.bishop@herts.ac.uk | Tweet

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Find out more about Depression and Suicide with Episode 12

Book 5 – My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Book Blurb

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Find our review of this book in Episode 11