James Dawson to pen mental health guide for young people

Besi Besemar January 19, 2015

Today, the third Monday in January has been described as the most depressing day of the year, or ‘Blue Monday’.

James Dawson
James Dawson

WITH YOUNG people’s mental health a greater issue than ever before, Hot Key Books have announced, on Blue Monday itself, that James Dawson will be releasing a book on mental health issues for young people entitled MIND YOUR HEAD in 2016.

Aimed at debunking myths and banishing stigma, MIND YOUR HEAD will give tips and ideas for living with and managing your emotional well-being, as well as knowing how to find support when you need it.

The book will be written with advice from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt.

Earlier this year, 40% of 2,267 parents surveyed by charity Action for Children said their children’s emotional well-being was a primary concern. Despite this, NHS spending on children’s mental health services in England has fallen by nearly £50m. With one in four of us likely to experience a period of mental ill health in our lives, it’s one of the most common medical afflictions and yet it’s surrounded by stigma.

James Dawson said: “Between exam-camp (school) and the added pressures of living half a life online, I don’t know if there’s ever been a tougher time to be a teenager. It’s no wonder more and more young adults are seeking support for mental health issues such as stress, depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Even with the increased visibility of these problems, I found it easier to ‘come out’ as gay than to admit I struggle with anxiety attacks. Why is that? Why is there still so much stigma around something so common? Working with clinical psychologist Olivia Hewitt, we’ve found some truly inspirational young people whose stories will give hope, strength and guidance to the reader.”

Editor Emma Matthewson added: “James has already brought extraordinary warmth and humour to the non-fiction he has published with Hot Key and it feels very timely that he should now turn his attention to the issue of mental health and the pressures that teenagers face. With more and more children and young people reporting anxiety problems and stress, there is a real need for open discussion. James’s real skill is to take subjects which are hard to talk about and write about them in a voice young people can connect with. For teens suffering with a mental health issue, it can be a very lonely place and whether you or a friend are having a hard time, we hope this book will offer helpful guidance.”

MIND YOUR HEAD will join Dawson’s two existing non-fiction titles, BEING A BOY and THIS BOOK IS GAY.

MIND YOUR HEAD will be published in 2016.