One in five adults experience depression in their lifetime, but young children are often left in the dark when their mother or father suddenly can’t play with them like they used to.
The new picture book, Together Things: When her father feels sad, a little girl finds ways to keep the bonds of love alive (EK Books, February 2020, $18.99) is an age-appropriate introduction to the importance of understanding mental health and illness.
For a young child who is living with a parent who is experiencing mental illness, this book can help them understand, in an age-appropriate and sensitive way, that’s it’s fine for them to have their own feelings about their parents’ illness. It’s OK if they feel sad or mad.
The book gently helps them see, that although their parent may not be able to do all the things with them that they did before they were feeling ill, they can still enjoy each other in different ways.
The compelling story and beautiful illustrations help teach empathy, compassion, and patience. For children who are not living with a parent with mental illness, this book can open the door to important discussions on what mental health is and how we can be supportive of people or friends that are experiencing this challenge. Reading and discussing this book with your child can help break the stigma that is attached to mental illness.
Written by Michelle Vasiliu, an award-winning author and teacher who specializes in exploring parents’ mental health with children, this book celebrates the love between a parent and child and offers concrete problem-solving ideas that can help them feel connected to each other.
The book is available at fine book shops and online at Amazon.com.