Get ready to dive into the powerful and inspiring stories of individuals who have experienced mental health challenges firsthand. This Canadian Mental Health Week, explore the #MyStory theme through a curated book list of biographies and stories that capture the resilience, strength, and unique experiences of those living with mental illness. From personal memoirs to captivating novels, these reads are sure to ignite empathy, understanding, and a greater appreciation for the complexities of mental health.
After the war : surviving PTSD and changing mental health culture
Grenier, Stéphane, 1965- author
The crying book
Christle, Heather, 1980- author
Award-winning poet Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and must reckon with her own struggles with depression and the birth of her first child. Told in short, poetic snippets, this book delights and surprises, as well as rigorously examines how mental illness can affect a family across generations and how crying can express women's agency - or lack of agency - in everyday life. Christle's gift is the freshness of her voice and honesty of her approach, both of which create an intimacy with readers as she explores a human behaviour broadly experienced but rarely questioned.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
Honeyman, Gail, author
"Smart, warm, uplifting, the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart. No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one."-- Provided by publisher.
Heart berries : a memoir
Mailhot, Terese Marie, author
Guileless and refreshingly honest, Terese Mailhot's debut memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation. Hometown: The Seabird Island Band, B.C.
How it feels to float
Fox, Helena, author
"Sixteen-year-old Biz sees her father every day, though he died when she was seven. When he suddenly disappears, she tumbles into a disaster-land of grief and depression from which she must find her way back."-- Provided by publisher.
A mind spread out on the ground
Elliott, Alicia, author
In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. What are the links between depression, colonialism and loss of language--both figurative and literal? How does white privilege operate in different contexts? How do we navigate the painful contours of mental illness in loved ones without turning them into their sickness? How does colonialism operate on the level of literary criticism? A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is Alicia Elliott's attempt to answer these questions and more.
Turtles all the way down
Green, John, 1977- author
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her best and most fearless friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.