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Recommended Books for Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Librarian Allyson Mower has gathered the following recommendations for this month.

The Inner Work of Racial Justice by Rhonda Magee

This is our pick for May’s Curiosity Bibliotherapy reading group at Marriott Library. Written by an attorney and educator, this book teaches us how to heal ourselves, help others in the process, and build a more compassionate community.

A Brief History of Anxiety by Patricia Pearson

A Brief History of Anxiety…Yours and Mine tells the story of a person who learned to move through her anxiety and discover new connections as she stopped taking antidepressants. Patricia Pearson does a masterful job at describing the struggle to discover and re-connect not only with what she valued, but also with the physical world around her. As Pearson tells her story, the reader also learns about the broader and sometimes comical history of human anxiety. This combination of personal and historical provides a useful perspective.

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

Part self-help, part memoir, and part investigative journalism, Lost Connections redefines depression as grief for something that is missing or lost. Johann Hari focuses on the basic relationship between good mental health and a good social life within one’s various communities–family, school, work, neighborhood. He digs into the clinical trials that informed the creation of anti-depressants and the underground world of social scientists who have disagreed with the setup and outcome of these trials. The author argues for not always thinking that depression and anxiety are purely chemical imbalances in the brain that can only be addressed with expensive and ever-higher doses of prescription drugs.

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

An artist’s and cultural critics perspective on essentially saying ‘no’ to our attention economy for the sake of better living and better mental health.

Sloth by Wendy Wasserstein

While seemingly antithetical to motivation, the concept of sloth–as Wendy Wasserstein so entertainingly conveys in Sloth: The Seven Deadly Sins–embodies a commitment to personal contentment that, in the end, makes you even more productive. How does she do it?! Laughter and levity go a long way in the world of research and academia. This book will get you over whatever hump you’re stuck on and motivate you to keep going!

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