Let's Learn About...

Mental Health for Kids

By Anna B.
January 20, 2022

Providing the vocabulary to talk about our mental state is such an incredible tool in raising emotionally intelligent, supportive, and resilient kids. Not sure about how to start talking to your kid about mental health? We’ve gathered both Internet resources and books to talk to kids of all ages about their emotions, feelings, and mental health.

Looking for more? Be sure to check out Lisa’s post about Mindfulness.

Need more parenting support? See this blog post on Local Parent Support.

Online Resources


From Kaiser Permanente, this portal offers support for families about stress, self-care and nurturing mental health conversations between caregivers and kids. Their Social Shareables questions are excellent prompts for integrating mental health talk into everyday life.


This video from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families gives kids an introduction to mental health, from asking for help to being a good listener to someone in need.


From research to support accessing care, the CDC’s guide to mental health for kids is an excellent resource for parents and caregivers navigating all aspects of developmental and emotional milestones.


Click on the titles or covers to go to place holds at lincc.org.

Big feelings / Alexandra Penfold, Suzanne Kaufman.

A group of kids express a multitude of feelings and discover they are not alone.

The Magic Hug : A Story About Emotions / by Fifi Kuo

What happens when a little dragon gets angry? She FLAMES red-hot . . . and things get burnt. Then she feels sad and lonely. Through this adorable character, Magic Hug explores the powerful feeling of anger, showing how it affects us and everyone we love.

Great Big Feelings series by Hallee Adelman ; illustrated by Karen Wall

This engaging series speaks to kids’ emerging emotional intelligence skills and helps them learn to manage their feelings.

For Younger Readers

Click on the titles or covers to go to place holds at lincc.org.

Puppy in my head : a book about mindfulness / Elise Gravel.

What’s a puppy–and an anxious kid–to do? Author Elise Gravel helps children identify and cope with anxiety in a calming, mindful way.

Wiggles, stomps, and squeezes calm my jitters down / Lindsey Rowe Parker ; illustrated by Rebecca Burgess

The vibration in her feet when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her fork on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her hands — these are the things that calm her jitters down. This book is for anyone who has ever felt the need for a wiggle, stomp, or squeeze!

Jenny Mei is sad / Tracy Subisak

Jenny Mei still smiles a lot. She makes everyone laugh. And she still likes blue Popsicles the best. But, her friend knows that Jenny Mei is sad, and does her best to be there to support her.

My monster and me / written by Nadiya Hussain ; illustrated by Ella Bailey.

A touching story about a little boy whose worry monster follows him everywhere he goes. It’s there when he gets dressed, when he wants to play with his toys, and even when his friends come over to visit. How can he escape his worries?

Me and my fear / Francesca Sanna

When a young girl has to move countries and start at a new school, her fear tells her to be alone and afraid. How can she hope to make friends if she doesn’t understand anyone? Surely no one else feels the same way.

The princess and the fog : a story for children with depression / Lloyd Jones ; with a contribution by Melinda Edwards, MBE and Dr. Linda Bayliss.

Explains what depression is and how it affects people through a story about a princess and a fog around her that she cannot get rid of on her own.

For Older Readers

Click on the titles or covers to go to place holds at lincc.org.

The worry (less) book : feel strong, find calm, and tame your anxiety! / Rachel Brian.

Expertly vetted and playfully presented with comic illustrations, a young person’s guide to anxiety management shares reassurance about how everyone gets worried sometimes and what to do when too much anxiety gets in the way.

My mixed emotions : help your kids handle their feelings / Elinor Greenwood ; project art editor and illustrator, Polly Appleton

Divided into happiness, fear, anger, and sadness, My Mixed Emotions explores the four main emotions, the reasons why we feel them, and the science behind each one.

Crafting calm : art and activities for mindful kids / by Megan Borgert-Spaniol and Lauren Kukla, illustrated by Aruna Rangarajan.

Kids engage in and practice mindfulness through fun and easy exercises, crafts, and activities, with the goal of learning a deeper sense of calm, peace, joy, and connection to the world around them, all while improving emotional intelligence, boosting self-esteem, and reducing anxiety.

Buster / Caleb Zane Huett.

Buster’s a therapy dog who needs to take matters into his own paws to help a boy understand his own anxiety . . . even if it means breaking a few rules.