PROFESSIONAL READING

Serving Teens with Mental Illness in the Library: A Practical Guide

Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. (Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians). Apr. 2019. 149p. further reading. index. notes. websites. pap. $45. ISBN 9781440862762.
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Takahashi outlines the core issues related to mental illness and teen library patrons. Education professionals who receive regular training or opportunities to learn more about teen mental health will likely be familiar with the content of the first few chapters, but the brief general outline of common mental illnesses and crash course in adolescent psychological development may be useful for librarians new to working with teen populations. Later sections on assisting teens who are experiencing a mental health crisis and on developing or adapting policies to better support teen mental wellness initiatives are thorough and valuable. These sections offer practical advice for a variety of situations, including aggression, suicide or suicidal ideation, drug overdose, panic and anxiety attacks, or psychosis. Librarians who want to create programming addressing mental health will appreciate the case studies of successful partnerships and programs, as well as the lists of print and electronic resources that would make a solid start to a mental wellness resources collection. A final section, addressing self-care for adults working closely with teens who may be experiencing episodes of mental illness, suggests vital tools for librarians who feel the emotional toll of providing a caring, affirming, and responsive environment.
VERDICT While this guide covers no new ground for librarians who have already begun learning about and addressing mental health issues within their community, it does pull together a number of helpful tips and resources. A solid addition to a professional collection where an introduction to teen mental wellness issues is needed.

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