The #SLJTeenLive Panel on Mental Health in #YALit

As part of the SLJ Teen Live event, authors Nyrae Dawn, Stephanie Kuehn, Jennifer Niven, Teresa Toten and Susan Vaught participated in a panel in which they discussed mental health in #yalit. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, so I live tweeted the panel. I Storify it here in […]

MHYALitlogoofficfialAs part of the SLJ Teen Live event, authors Nyrae Dawn, Stephanie Kuehn, Jennifer Niven, Teresa Toten and Susan Vaught participated in a panel in which they discussed mental health in #yalit. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, so I live tweeted the panel. I Storify it here in part so I can find all the great quotes in one place when I want to refer to them. It was a great panel full of great discussion. You can see it at SLJ as they archived it.

  1. We are deeply affected by the things that happen to people around us. – Nyrae Dawn #SLJTeenLive
  2. “His journey is understanding what is in himself and in his external world he needs to deal with” – Stephanie Khuen #SLJTeenLive
  3. I always worry about discussing mental health & using “magical” in the same context. Don’t want to romanticize or stigmatize MH #sljteenlive
  4. Teresa Toten is discussing research when writing about mental health #sljteenlive
  5. Vaught writes about dealing w/a parent and mental illness from personal experience #SLJTeenLive
  6. Thank you Susan Vaught for calling out the way current media/candidates are throwing around damaging terms about mental health #SLJTeenLive
  7. “I am glad language is starting to change . . . ” Susan Vaught #SLJTeenLive
  8. Vaught wants her MC to know that even if she does have a mental illness she has the potential for help & good life #SLJTeenLive
  9. #ownvoices puts emphasis on people with mental health issues writing from their experience – #SLJTeenLive
  10. Question1: how do you consider the topic of #ownvoices in writing about mental health #SLJTeenLive
  11. Khuen: The value of #ownvoices is that it allows someone other then the dominant group to tell their story #SLJTeenLive
  12. Khuen: some authors are private & may not want to disclose that their mental health is an #ownvoices book (excellent point) #SLJTeenLive
  13. Toten: the intersection of storytelling and inserting your own experience is a dicey prospect #SLJTeenLive
  14. Dawn: Everyone’s experience is different. There is no one experience of depression which we must take into consideration. #SLJTeenLive
  15. Vaught: We go down a dangerous path when we assume an author is speaking for an entire group of people #SLJTeenLive
  16. Vaught: it’s important that we not drown out #ownvoices in these discussions; dominant group has an easier path to pub #SLJTeenLive
  17. Niven: I have heard so many teens say they have gotten help because of the books they have read #SLJTeenLive
  18. Niven: Teens are experiencing this now & it should be in the books. They need to know they are know & loved. #SLJTeenLive
  19. Question 2: how do you responsibly approach the topic of medication? #SLJTeenLive
  20. Nyrae Dawn: if med is the right path for that teen it’s important that they know nothing is wrong with that #SLJTeenLive
  21. Khuen: it’s hard & complicated. The admission that something is wrong is a hard place to get to. #SLJTeenLive
  22. Khuen: what I owe teen readers is to be as honest as possible #SLJTeenLive
  23. Khuen: teen readers know very quickly what is honest and what is not #SLJTeenLive
  24. Vaught: medication is a choice & we should present it as a choice. Removing choices is not helpful. #SLJTeenLive
  25. Vaught: other countries deal with mental health differently then we do #SLJTeenLive
  26. Vaught: meds have side effects. For many it’s a choice between symptoms vs side effects & it’s a hard choice #SLJTeenLive
  27. Question 3: why is it important to write about mental health #SLJTeenLive
  28. Dawn: everyone has a right to see themselves in the stories that they read #SLJTeenLive
  29. Khuen: it’s out there, it’s real, and we need to reduce stigma #SLJTeenLive
  30. Niven: we need to remind readers they are not alone #SLJTeenLive
  31. Toten: It’s all around us. It’s part of life so we right as writers about life. #SLJTeenLive
  32. Vaught: “the ways my mom would come and go because of the symptoms of her mental illness” #SLJTeenLive
  33. Vaught is talking about the effects of her mother’s mental illness & growing up with a distorted mirror #SLJTeenLive
  34. Vaught: having a parent with a mental illness is a significant shaping factor #sljteenlive
  35. Totens brother was a classic sociopath. This informed her writing of BEWARE THAT GIRL #SLJTeenLive
  36. Question 5: if writing is about honesty, how do you know who to listen to? #SLJTeenLive
  37. Vaught: be careful to use reliable sources and not just one source #SLJTeenLive
  38. Mental illness is an illness. Taking meds is no diff then taking insulin for diabetes. – from mental health panel at #SLJTeenLive

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