“It Was a Real Eye-Opener”
Supporting Adolescent Mental Health Literacy Through Contemporary Young Adult Literature
Keywords:adolecents, mental health literacy, English curriculum, teacher librarians, grounded theory methodology
The school environment can be challenging for young people experiencing mental health concerns to express their individuality and feel accepted. There has been an increased focus on wellbeing in school-aged children, with programs targeted to building resilience and promoting inclusion. However, peer stigmatization lowers personal wellbeing by limiting social belongingness in young people with mental health concerns and this is often exacerbated by poor mental health literacy. This paper is based on a doctoral study that used a grounded theory methodology to explore adolescent responses to a novel featuring mental health concerns as a class text. This research showed that students prefer contemporary young adult novels in the English classroom to support mental health literacy due to its contemporaneity and relatability. This paper links these benefits with the role of teacher librarians in recommending young adult literature featuring mental health concerns for use in the English curriculum.
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Copyright (c) 2024 Monique Shephard, Kasey Garrison
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