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NNLM Reading Club: Mental Health

Mental Health

Mental illness is a real condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood. It's also common: 1 in 5 U.S. adults report mental illness each year. Unfortunately, these conditions deeply impact day-to-day living and may also affect the ability to relate to others. The good news? It's no one's fault and it's treatable. Help reduce the stigma often associated with mental health conditions during Mental Health Awareness Month or any time of the year and help you or your loved ones find the resources they need.

Fact Sheets


Search MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), to find evidence-based information from a variety of Mental Health and Behavior topics and resources.

Libraries Transform

Because Mental Health Matters promotion

Because Mental Health Matters Graphics for print, web, or social media. 11x17 Poster with room for logo PDF | Bookmarks PDF |
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Social Media

NNLM Mental Health Month Digital SlideFind Mental Health Month Electronic Bulletin Slides and Social Media promotional materials from the NNLM National Health Observances website.


Share mental health resources on your library website for people to find the help they need.

Programming for Libraries

Mental Health Awareness

National Minority Mental Health Awareness graphicThe Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower-quality care. Poor mental health care access and quality contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities. Share their resources and publications to raise awareness during National Minority Mental Health Awareness in July or anytime during the year.

Book cover image of an Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health

Psychologist and African American mental health expert, Rheeda Walker, PhD, offers important information on the mental health crisis in the Black community, how to combat stigma, spot potential mental illness, how to practice emotional wellness, and how to get the best care possible in a system steeped in racial bias. The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health | Rheeda Walker, PhD | New Harbinger Publications | 2020 | 232 pages | ISBN: 978-1684034147

Graphic Medicine

NLM Graphic Medicine Ill-Conceived exhibit logo

Ian Williams, M.D. coined the term Graphic Medicine for the website https://www.graphicmedicine.org. Graphic Medicine refers to the use of graphic novels, comics, and visual storytelling in medical education, patient care, and other applications related to healthcare and the life sciences. Just as there are many genres of books and films, there are many genres of comics and graphic novels. They may be fiction or nonfiction. They may be funny, sad, informative, or provocative. The illustrations may be elaborate while others are simple. However, they all use visual storytelling to connect with the reader. For programming ideas, use the National Library of Medicine Traveling Exhibit and educational website, Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn! as well as Graphic Medicine & Health: Storytelling in support of the NNLM NER Graphic Medicine Initiative.

Picture Book

Book cover image of Meh, a young boy standing next to a cat at his feet with a dark gray background Sadness is an emotion that everyone feels at some time or another. But sometimes you might feel a sadness so long and so deep and dark that it seems impossible to find happiness. That kind of sadness is called depression. Meh is a wordless picture book about one boy's journey through depression. Discussion questions at the back of the book are intended for parents or teachers to discuss depression with children. Meh: a story about depression | Deborah Malcolm | Thunderstone Books | 2015 | ISBN: 978-153411003

Library Skills Training

Caring for the Mind is an NNLM online course for library staff to learn how to effectively provide mental health information at their libraries. Participants learn about the best electronic resources to consult as well as ways to improve their print collections. Best approaches for handling interactions with emotional patrons are also discussed.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness. Find a Mental Health First Aid course near you using the search tool.

There's an NIH for that... and more