Mental Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month Listens for Kids and Teens

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: a time to fight the stigmatization of mental illness. After all, mental health is as important as physical health. So many of our young ones learn best through storytelling: through stories they learn how to cope, how to empathize, and how to live. That means it’s incredibly important to show characters dealing with mental health issues in books for kids and teens so that they can learn about their own emotions and mental health, and lay the groundwork for becoming compassionate adults. The list below is a collection of audiobooks about young adult, pre-teen, and elementary-aged characters navigating their daily lives with mental struggles and becoming stronger for it.

Mental Health awareness audiobooks for teens and tweens:

Author: John Green
Read By: Kate Rudd

Turtles All the Way Down follows Aza Holmes as she tries 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.

“Narrator Kate Rudd dramatizes the quick intelligence and high anxiety of high school junior Aza Holmes… The convincing portrayals makes it easy to see how Aza is hindered in loving, thinking, and living without fear. – AudioFile

Sixteen-year-old Jazz Jacobson has always spent her summers on Fire Island with her best friend, Macy. But this summer was different–Macy was still obsessing over her breakup with Max Cooper and started to seriously act out. In Getting Over Max Cooper, Jazz must help her friend before something terrible happens.

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen, she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. Girl in Pieces is a profoundly moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together.

“Narrator Julia Whelan’s initial portrayal of Charlie reveals her unwillingness to speak–as well as her pain, fear, and fury. – AudioFile

Author: Erin Stewart
Read By: Phoebe Strole

It’s been three months since Lily found her older sister Alice hurting herself. Ever since then, Lily has been desperately trying to keep things together. But when new student Micah comes to town, things change. He was in treatment with Alice and seems determined to get Lily to process Alice’s experience and her own. Words We Keep follows Lilly and Micah as they embark on an art project for school that involves finding poetry in unexpected places, she realizes it’s the words she’s been swallowing that she desperately wants to break through.

Mental Health awareness audiobooks for elementary-aged kids:

A moving picture book debut, adapted for audio, about depression, sensory awareness, and the power of listening from psychologist and author of Teaching Kids to be Kind. A Blue Kind of Day explores how depression might feel in the body and shows us how to support the people we love with patience, care, and empathy.

“Children may appreciate the understanding, validating approach to the topic, including the reassuring reminder that “blue feelings” can change.” –Booklist

In Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective, award-winning actress Elizabeth Olsen and esteemed musician Robbie Arnett create a fresh approach to wellness in the first in a new series that shows children ways to manage anxiety and the importance of self-care . The audiobook is open for pre-order and will be released June 28th, 2022.