By Trista R.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Materials for Young Adults

*The materials listed are not intended to be replaced with professional treatment or support. Many of these topics are heavy and deal with the more difficult aspects of living with mental illness, and may be considered triggering for those experiencing mental health issues. Please approach materials with caution and care.

For those of us who have lived or are living through our teenage years, we can probably agree that they can be some of the toughest to navigate. In the midst of making choices that seemingly affect the course of your entire life, you also encounter frequent school stresses, peer pressures, and everything in between. While dealing with these struggles can be difficult enough, it can become even harder if you’re someone wrestling with mental health issues or illnesses. If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. 50 percent of lifetime cases of mental illness begin at 14 years of age

Text says Mental Health Awareness Month - YA Materials

Through experiencing this, you might have found yourself seeking comfort in relatable mediums such as books and movies. At the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, we have numerous Young Adult materials whose characters, themes, and authors’ personal experiences convey what it’s like living with mental illness during your teen years. It is through literature and film you might discover ways to help process trauma and hardship. After you’ve watched or read something that you connect deeply with, you might even go on to share these stories with your friends, families, and peers. This is actually a great way to help bring awareness to mental health and to aid in erasing stigmas surrounding it. 

Below is a list of some of the books (and films) available to check out through EVPL, categorized by disorder/illness, along with a brief definition of each. 

YA Materials | Books

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions).

Eating Disorders are behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act.

Suicide is defined as death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt is a non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt might not result in injury. Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects about one percent of the population. When schizophrenia is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble with thinking, and lack of motivation.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a display of excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances

YA Materials | Movies

Here are a few films bringing light to mental illness and mental health as well:


Trista R.

Trista R.

With 8 locations throughout Vanderburgh County, EVPL is ready to discover, explore, and connect WITH you! We encourage you to uncover new things, revisit old favorites, and to engage with us along the way.

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