Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson

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Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Fabulous and clear-sighted guide to mental health - and ill health - from Juno Dawson with input from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Kids should read this. So should their parents.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208P Date: January 2016
Publisher: Hotkey
ISBN: 1471405311

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The number of young people suffering from mental ill health is increasing year-on-year. Yet we still find it difficult to talk about. And mental health still hasn't achieved parity with physical health in terms of services and healthcare available. Enter Mind Your Head.

This is a frank and accessible overview of the issues facing young people with regards to mental ill health. It covers the various types of illness, the treatments available, how to manage them. It includes personal stories and exercises and is written in a chatty but serious way. Juno Dawson is the transgender author you might have known before as James Dawson. She's brought in clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt to help her. And also illustrator Gemma Correll to avoid any appearance of dourness. Because Mind Your Head is about serious things but is an absolute pleasure to read.

I've said this before hereabouts, but I'll say it again. The success of a book read by me with a mind to reviewing really does rest on the number of dog ears - I know! Dog ears! Sacrilege! - I've made by the time I've finished. Dog ears are points from the book I want to cover in the review, y'see. My copy of Mind Your Head has seventeen dog ears. This means two things: it's a very, very good book; I can't cover seventeen points in one review because you guys will be here all day when you should really be rushing off to buy it and read it yourself. I hope I cover the right dog ears to make you do just that.

Firstly, and most importantly, people who suffer from mental ill health aren't about to turn into Jack the Ripper. If that's your fear, forget it. Do. Not. Be. Afraid. To. Read. This. Book.

Secondly, there will be jokes. This is important. As Juno says herself, If we want mental illness to be treated in the same way as physical illness, we mustn't make mental illness in any way special or unique. If we're able to make jokes about broken arms and bunions, we should also be able to make jokes around depression.

Thirdly, the book is written from both theoretical and lived experience. Juno herself has suffered from crippling anxiety, once leading to a melt down and a panic at the Hay Festival, no less. Her co-author Olivia Hewitt is a clinical psychologist. You can trust them. You can also trust illustrator Gemma Correll, whose witty drawings will make you smile while lancing some of your painful feelings.

Fourthly, you don't even need to have issues with mental ill health yourself to take much of value from Mind Your Head. Who knows? You may need this information one day in the future and forewarned is forearmed, as they say. Or you might want to understand your friends better. Or you might want to understand your child better. This is a book for everyone.

Really and truly: Mind Your Head is a fabulous contribution to the long road to getting mental health parity with physical health. It's truthful and honest. It's clear and accessible. It has both personal and professional experience hard-wired into it. And it's not afraid to make you laugh even when it's talking about very serious things.

Highly recommended.

More sensible and accessible advice on all sorts of things, including but not limited to, mental health, can be found in The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team .

Booklists.jpg Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson is in the Top Ten Children's Non-Fiction Books of 2016.
Buy Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson at Amazon.com.


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