Tackling mental health head on: first book by Marlborough children's author
Emily Palmer, aged eighteen and from Marlborough, has written and published her very first children’s book: Scrambled Heads – A Children’s Guide to Mental Health.
Emily was inspired to write the book after her own experiences with mental health. Having battled with anxiety and anorexia nervosa, she wanted to use her own experiences to encourage conversations on such an important topic.
As a child Emily recalls reading a book about visiting hospital if she felt poorly. However, when she started to experience mental health problems there was nothing to explain what would happen to you as a patient or who you could talk to.
Emily told Marlborough.News: “I want to help create a world where mental health is discussed with children, and we can talk in more than whispers about our experiences. We should be proud to talk of our achievements and successes in battling something that can take away so much.”
The project was fully funded by the young entrepreneur, and she has already sold over 250 copies in four countries.
While writing Scrambled Heads, Emily worked with teachers, psychiatrists, parents, children and mental health patients to make sure her book was accurate and easy to understand - complete with a positive message. She also drew the simple, yet fun illustrations using the egg motif.
The book’s aim was to bridge a gap in education about mental health. Mental health affects everyone and this book seeks to help the readers recognise that it is not something to be ashamed of, and it is okay to speak up.
Children’s Mental Health Week, which is designed to raise awareness about mental health and its youngest patients, runs from February 6-12. Emily says: "This special week gives us the ideal opportunity to start the conversation about mental health so that parents and guardians can support children through a difficult and confusing time."
Emily was a student at St John's Academy and is currently at Haddon Training doing a Business Administration Apprenticeship. She has been writing a blog on her experiences with mental health, explaining why she wrote the book and reminding those who are suffering that they are not alone.
Ten per cent of profits from Scrambled Heads are being donated directly to YoungMinds, the children’s mental health charity.
Scrambled Heads can be bought from The White Horse Bookshop on Marlborough High Street for £5.99, or it is available to order on Amazon. One of the four very enthusiastic reviews on Amazon is headlined 'Fantastic Book' and reads:
"After reading this book cover to cover I have come to the conclusion that it is a fine resource for learning about mental health. On top of that, it explains mental health in a simple way, this means children from a young age will grasp the concept of mental health and how it affects them. I highly recommend this book for anyone who suffers with a wide range of mental health issues. It is applicable for Autism, to Depression and Anxiety and more. If you buy this book you won't regret it!"