Meet Kristin Legault: full time student, mental health advocate, and published author. She has generously donated a series of her children's books to North in Focus, and they will be donated to the Jens Haven Memorial School in Nain, Nunatsiavut, for anyone to enjoy. We'll let Kristin take it from here.
I am a second year Psychology student at King's University College, with aspirations of eventually becoming a clinical psychologist. I am from St. Thomas, ON.
There is not a lot of children's books on mental health, especially on the specific disorders. My books series describe the symptoms of each illness, normalize the conditions by comparing them to physical illnesses and injuries like the common cold or a broken arm, stress the importance of professional help, suggest ways of explaining the illnesses to friends and family, suggest ways that friends, classmates and family can help, and lastly suggest various kid-friendly coping strategies. More information can be found on my website: www.childrensmentalhealthseries.com.
I've personally struggled with depression and anxiety. These symptoms started to appear when I was a child, but I was not diagnosed until I was 14, after making a serious suicide attempt. There is not a lot of awareness of mental health. People, even health care providers do not know how to treat people struggling with mental illness. Some people don't even believe that mental illnesses are real. I wanted to be an advocate for those struggling with mental illness, especially for children, since many times they have not found their voice yet, are confused and don't know where to go for help. I wrote and published these books at my worst mental health wise, however, I've always enjoyed writing, so writing and publishing the books series has been very therapeutic and healing for me.
So far, the response towards my book series has been phenomenal. Many people are coming forward, sharing their's and their family's mental health journey stories. I've received a lot of feedback from teachers, parents, mental health professionals, and even kids regarding how helpful my books have been. We are now in the process of getting the books placed into the London elementary schools, to be used by school social workers and psychologists with struggling and at-risk students.
If you would like to follow the Nain in Focus journey - including the donation of this game changing book series - please follow our social platforms (and share your own photos using #northinfocus):