This is the side to celebrities and famous people that you do not often see in the news. It is famous people like we have never seen them before. Twenty-nine icons from the worlds of sport, fashion, music, TV, film, science, medicine, politics, the arts, and even the Royal Family show that it really is ok not to be ok.
From the king of the ring, The Rock, to the queen of pop, Kylie Minogue. From miracle medicine woman, Marie Curie, to the marvellous and magical J.k. Rowling. Twenty-nine recognisable figures from all walks of life are introduced, each with their own story and the personal battles they have had with mental health.
Anyone can face mental health issues and this book is an inspiring read that shows that not even fame and fortune can prevent you from having to deal with mental health issues. In fact, as is revealed in the stories of the twenty-nine individuals, many of their mental health struggles have been as a result of their fame and fortune.
Each double page spread features a photograph of the individual with playful illustrations and graphics added to it. As Professor Peter Fongay writes in his foreword, “The graphics help us to see the value of seeing the lighter side of ourselves.” The bright colours and playful graphics help to give the book a much more light-hearted feel to what is a read about some very serious issues. Background is given on the life of the individual, the issues that they have faced and how they have overcome or managed the issues. There are a few quotations that are picked out from the text and these stand out on the page and they provide a quick snapshot of the issues that are being highlighted.
Many mental health issues are raised. Depression is an issue that many of the individuals have faced, along with eating disorders, PTSD, OCD, anxiety and panic attacks. Children will be amazed to read that Liam Payne has to cope with stage fright, Marie Curie suffered from depression and would often not eat, and Kylie Minogue has to deal with anxieties and the voices in her head.
The messages that come from this book are clear and to the point. Talk about your issues, keeping the issues to yourself will only make things worse. Help is out there. There is not one way to manage the issues, coping mechanisms will be unique for each person.
Ultimately, what readers should take from this book is that, “It is ok not to be ok.” This is a message that has seen much more prominence in recent times as the profiles of mental health and wellbeing continue to be raised. And finally if readers ever find themselves facing a mental health issue then to know they are most definitely not alone.
This book should be in every school, library and home. You never know when a child might need a little bit of help and inspiration from the stories that this book shares.
Recommended for 9+.