Review: Mind Your Head

February 3, 2016 in Book Reviews, YA

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Mind Your HeadMind Your Head by Juno Dawson
Published by Hot Key Books on 4th February 2016
Genres: YA
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

We all have a mind, so we all need to take care of our mental health as much as we need to take care of our physical health. And the first step is being able to talk about our mental health. Juno Dawson leads the way with this frank, factual and funny book, with added information and support from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people's mental health - whether fleeting or long-term - and how to manage them, with real-life stories from young people around the world.
From Goodreads

Sometimes you find a book that you just know you have to read. Juno Dawson’s Mind Your Head is one such book for me. In my early 30s I’m not really the target audience for this book, but having tackled mental illness myself for many years I instantly recognised the importance of this book. Having now read it, I can confirm that this is indeed a very important book/resource.

Juno makes it very clear from the start that this isn’t a self-help book (something which I personally appreciate). She also states that, despite her first-class honours degree in psychology, she is not a doctor, so she has enlisted the help of her friend Dr Olivia Hewitt, a clinical psychologist, to assist with this book.

From the outset Dawson forewarns us of “triggers” – this is something to be aware of before you start to read. The book covers a huge amount within its 200 or so pages, and so it’s unsurprising that this book comes with a trigger-warning. From coping with stress to addiction, depression to personality disorders, self-harm to anxiety, each area is approached in an informative, yet friendly manner. Juno isn’t afraid to use humour where appropriate. Likewise, she doesn’t shy away from any issue, offering the reader her total honestly. It’s this honesty that, I feel, makes this book what it is. It’s quite some time since I was a teen but I know that had I read this during that time I would have appreciated the honesty of the adult writer. Heck, I appreciate the honesty now!

Juno understands what her readers want and need. She’s not judgemental; she’s approachable (I’m not sure that’s the word I’m looking for but hopefully you know what I mean) and together with Dr Olivia offers some real insight and useful advice.

As I read I couldn’t help but think how important this book will be to so many. I imagined a teenager with no parental support, struggling with depression. This book would be a much needed lifeline to them.

It doesn’t claim to have all the answers and it certainly doesn’t imply that there will be any miracle cure. However, it does share experiences from fellow sufferers and makes it clear that the reader is not alone in their feelings. It advises of the steps the reader can take – where to turn to, be it online or to a trusted adult, or GP.

As an aside, my husband came home from work the other day to find me reading this book. He told me he’d see Dawson’s book This Book Is Gay in the school library that morning. Naturally I was delighted to hear this, and I genuinely believe that this book should also be a fixture within school libraries across the country. It will have a huge impact on thousands of young people and might just save some lives too.

I learned a lot from this book and could really imagine how powerful it would have been during my darkest days. You don’t have to be a teen to read it. In fact whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a family friend I urge you to read this book.