Review by Adrija Basani
Mental Health and Me, by Jack Harrison, is a self-help book for young teenagers to help them deal with their mental health. The book takes a personal approach to the topic, employing a friendly tone and using the author’s own anecdotes to make the sensitive subject matter more accessible to its target demographic.
The author covers a diverse range of mental health ‘issues’, ranging from body image to depression, with each section of the book focusing on a specific one. The writing is conversational, like a friend writing you a letter, which aids in connecting with the average teen reader. Through stories woven into the factual content, readers are given an insight into the author’s own experiences with mental health. These bits are my personal favorites because we no longer see a nameless, faceless narrator—but a real person with a story to tell.
Those portions are limited, however. The majority of the content is on solutions and ways to deal with the aforementioned topics. This is not a bad thing, and is to be expected, but the writing loses vulnerability here and the author’s voice loses its personal touch. Additionally, most of the statistics and facts mentioned in the book lack citations and sources, which are essential for credibility.
Coming to the craft of writing itself, the author does succeed at maintaining a consistent tone, yet run-on sentences and the occasional grammatical error ruin the flow of the writing. The sentence structure is largely homogenous and the author tends to use a lot of repetitive phrases, which can make some large paragraphs difficult to read.
Despite its flaws, Mental Health and Me succeeds in breaking down the wall that often separates the author and reader. The book creates a connection to the reader. With its warmth and positive intent, the book plays its part in tearing down the stigma surrounding mental health and makes the topic more accessible to its vulnerable and young readership.
Review by Avni Trivedi
The book, Mental Health and Me discusses common mental health issues prevalent among teens using the help of many real-life examples and also some personal ones from the author. The book highlights topics like body image, friendships, anxiety, depression, diet problems, Covid-19, the laws of attraction and tips on how to improve one's mental health.
As we all know that mental health is just as important as physical health and sometimes people tend to neglect it. Many mental health disorders start from an early age. This book helps young people understand themselves and the common mental health disorders easily. The book easily helps the readers understand their mental image and the chapters are written in a very friendly and vivid manner. The examples help the reader relate, however, I would love the author to include many different real-world examples too as there can be many types of readers who could be reading the book and some might not relate to it at all. The chapters are divided to discuss individual disorders which help the reader to easily understand them. The book is a little short and I would recommend the author to add some more chapters about common misconceptions the society has about mental illnesses and discuss many taboo topics relating to them. I would also like to have more details and more extensive types of illnesses and how they can cause harm to one’s mental image. To make it more interactive, the author can include some fun jokes or address the reader more directly..
I would recommend all children and adults from the age of 10 up to read the book, it helps the reader analyze their mental state and how to improve it.