July 4, 2012

On World Book Day 2012, we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter what books they'd recommend to help people understand what it's like living with a mental health problem.

And now we've updated them with even more suggestions for World Book Day 2013!

Books can provide a way to understand what it's like to live with a mental health problem and help to break down the stigma and stereotypes around something that affects us all.

List of books about mental illness

These are some of the suggestions from our Facebook community (read the full list of suggestions on Facebook):

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamieson- awesome book that describes her experience of having bipolar disorder brilliantly but also shows how much she has achieved in life! Darkness Visible by William Styron is about depression- so accurate it gave me nightmares! If we're talking songs, "Perfect Blue Buildings" by Counting Crows... not sure what its supposed to be about but to me it talks about detachment from surroundings, early morning wakening and thoughts of self harm. Another one would be the Manic Stret Preachers' "Black Dog on My Shoulder"

All maya angelou, be it poetry or literary great works. . . 'i know why the caged bird sings' a good place to start. Luvs and well-bein to my fellow fighters x x

One flew over the cuckoos nest by Ken Kesey is having a massive impact on me at the moment!

An these were some of the books recommeded by our followers on Twitter:

Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton

Sally Brampton interviewed at our Meet the Media event on Monday 16th April.


The Dementors in Harry Potter as a representation of depression


Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen


False memory by Dean Koontz

Time to Change blogger Fiona Art recommends a book for World Mental Health:

False memory by Dean Koontz | Book cover

False Memory by Dean Koontz is a book that makes me question how I would cope.

It’s not one of those happily ever after stories, it’s about coping through the worst imaginable and unimaginable situations in life.

It is the kind of story where, when I am reading it, I find myself associating with the main characters Martie “...optimistic nature, formidable coping skills...” and her friend Susan, and actually seeing strengths in myself...

Read the full blog >>


I had a black dog by Matthew Johnstone


Other suggested books:

Other resources

For more books about mental illness check out Mind's bookshop.

How can I get involved in the campaign?

About World Book Day

World Book Day was designated by unESco as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. Find out more >>

Share your story

Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.