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Mental Health Awareness Week

22nd May 2020

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, we asked our Organisers for their own stories of how Usborne titles have positively affected both their own mental health and that of their customers.

From powerful feedback to incredible campaigns, read on for some of the wonderful ways our Organisers make a difference in their local communities and beyond:

Usborne Organiser, Claire Stevenson:

"My daughter found using The Unworry Book so helpful. She had behavioural and anger issues around not being able to express how she was feeling, and was feeling conflicted because she didn't understand why she was feeling this way. Working through this and The Unworry Magic Painting Book really helps her to calm down. The worry box has especially helped to stabilise her moods and give her an outlet."

Usborne Organiser, Elise Patrick:

"On 3rd February 2020, in line with Children's Mental Health Week, I decided to launch a campaign to get books that support children's mental health into as many primary schools in my area as possible.

I put together a set of four books and then approached small local businesses to sponsor the packs. I didn't expect it to take off but I got my first sponsor that same evening and I was so happy - I did the Chandler-dance inside!

Up until the middle of March when we went into lockdown, the campaign went from strength-to-strength. So far, I have received sponsorship for 33 packs across Berkshire, Wiltshire and Somerset. For the primary schools in my area, I have received sponsorship for 22 schools... just 10 to go!

I also launched this campaign within my division and, as a wider team, we have got 86 packs into primary schools so far. Schools have been overwhelmed by the kindness of local businesses and individuals. And it's not just primary schools who have received the packs - I have had packs sponsored for childminders, as well as a small business that runs Mental Health First Aid courses in primary schools.

So, with it being Mental Health Awareness Week this week I am re-launching my campaign. Now more than ever we need to make sure our children are receiving the necessary support to help them process COVID-19 and what lockdown continues to mean, especially with some schools possibly re-opening.

My aim with this re-launch is to obtain sponsorship for the rest of the schools in my local area."

Usborne Organiser, Angela:

"The Places I've Cried in Public helped me understand how I got into a toxic relationship and ended up so deep without realising how I had got there. It made me appreciate how subtle red flags can be and how things can escalate out of your control, as well as how it could happen to anyone."

Usborne Organiser, Carole Stevens:

"My whole Usborne 'why' is connected to mental health and promoting emotional and mental wellbeing with regards to reading. In 2019, I set myself a challenge to read 12 books throughout the year and this challenge took me on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. I also became a Mental Health First Aider, a Nuffield Health SWAP champion and joined Usborne Books at Home as an Independent Organiser.

Being an Independent Organiser now means I can bring these three things together in promoting health and wellbeing to children, young adults and their parents through reading."

Take a look at this fantastic article in The Ox Magazine to discover more about Carole's incredible work, as well as her recommendations for Usborne books that explore emotional wellbeing.

Mel, customer:

"I often buy the young adult fiction books just for myself because I really enjoy them. I've struggled with my mental health since I was a teenager. I'm 28 now, but I still I feel I can relate to a lot of the Usborne books I read. 

After reading these books I felt like I could talk about things I'd blocked away. When I started having nightmares about things I'd forgotten about, I decided to start up a private page where I could tell my story - it made me feel stronger than ever. It honestly opened up so much for me and allowed me to finally make the decisions I'd been putting off for years. I got some control back again, and it's all thanks to books!"

Usborne Organiser, Marie Wynn:

"Last year I walked the Cumbria Way to raise awareness of positive mental health in primary schools in Cumbria. I am delighted to have raised enough money to put a copy of The Unworry Book into every primary school in the county."

Check out our blog on Marie's amazing campaign to find out more about her extraordinary efforts.

Books can be powerful tools indeed, and it's amazing to hear the difference that finding the right book at the right time can make! A big thanks to each and every one of our Organisers for sharing their stories with us.