Synopsis: In Anim Aweh’s debut picture book, Elijah struggles with his mental health and is able to identify and get the support he needs with the help of family and school staff. Highly recommended for the entire family. Suggested for readers ages 7-9.
What motivated an associate clinical social worker to write children’s books?
I was inspired to write this book because of my work environment. I often work with children and families who have a hard time accepting that there might be some mental health problems.
Your book deals with a subject that’s finally getting some attention in the black community. That is mental health. Can you tell us what made you choose this as the focal point of your book?
I chose this topic because I see the results on a daily basis of when we choose to ignore our mental health. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of awareness. I’m hoping to bridge the gaps and at least start the conversations at home early.
Do you have tips you’d like to share with parents who are noticing negative behavior patterns in their children, such as Elijah?
I would encourage families that have any concerns to start reaching out to your child’s school. They have a wealth of resources as well as the social worker at your child’s pediatrician’s office.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to bridge the gaps and at least start the conversations at home early.
If you think mental health is a topic that needs to be in the forefront, I think this may be a good purchase for your family. I believe as parents we have to do our due diligence in making sure we’re aware of what’s going on with our children emotionally and psychologically. Don’t be embarrassed. Keep a mental health professional on deck. Follow this link for the national institute of mental health website. It will take you directly to the adolescent page but there are a lot of resources on this website.