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Wellness > Mental Health

5 Books About Hope To Comfort You If You’re Feeling Lonely

Content warning: This story discusses suicide.

 Taking care of your well-being is one of the most important elements of maintaining your mental health. In today’s society, mental health has become more appreciated to talk about, specifically among Gen Z. Although there is still a stigma surrounding mental health, as well as a general lack of information about suicide, it’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with opening up about feelings of loneliness or isolation. So, I found five great books to read that amplify themes of hope and rebuilding after struggle.

The conversation surrounding suicide can be both impactful and heart-wrenching. However, those who have suffered from, or been impacted by, these tragic events are not the only ones.  These five books discuss the tragedy of suicide, and what can be a hopeful, impactful recovery. If you do choose to read the following books, please note that the material can be triggering, since it discusses suicide and depression, amongst other topics. If you do choose to read, consider checking the trigger warnings of these books as well.

Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah 

This heartbreaking yet powerful memoir by Meri Danquah ($18) provides the reader an insight into how clinical depression can deeply affect a person and their everyday life. This book is a special one because it focuses on the mental health struggles Black women experience. Mental health is heavily scrutinized in the Black community, leaving many silenced and struggling. Danquah debunks the stigma and bravely opens up about her own experiences, all while encouraging those, despite their backgrounds, to accept help and not feel any shame about it.

Finding Peace After A Suicide Loss by Elaine Kennelly

Kennelly details the death of her 18-year-old son, who lost his life to suicide. The book ($16) features the stages of grief that Kennelly experienced and how difficult it was for her to heal from the death of her son. The author’s Christian faith is also heavily presented in the book, as she writes from this perspective in hopes of using God as a guide to find happiness again and inspire those to reach out for help.

This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith 

This fiction novel ($7) opens up with two strangers, Tallie and Emmett, who meet each other in a scary encounter. Emmett is contemplating suicide, while Tallie is suffering from mental health issues. When Emmett is about to jump off the bridge during their first meeting, Tallie insists that they get a cup of coffee together — which leads to the start of their beautiful relationship.

This novel does an excellent job of detailing the rise of mental health struggles in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic (the timeframe that the story takes place) and the vulnerabilities of both characters, rather than being one-sided. It also portrays mental health issues among medical health professionals, which is Tallie’s profession. The theme of human connection amplifies the message of mental health awareness. 

Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks And Then You Live by Kevin Breel

The stigma between mental health and men is still something that is yet to be addressed successfully in today’s society. Breel wrote this novel ($17) to further open the conversation of mental health among men, including teenagers and adults. He shares his own struggles and the self-stigma that he endured due to the societal pressure of “being a man.” Breel also advises those to accept the concept of self-love and adapt it to their everyday lives. 

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

In this memoir ($10), author Matt Haig details his own experiences with anxiety and depression while using humor and honesty towards the reader to bring more delight. Haig isn’t afraid to uncover the “bigger picture” of mental health, and he portrays it in a relatable way. The memoir is both raw and beautiful at the same time, because Haig wanted to write this for whoever may be suffering from the same issues as he did.

Mental health is something that needs to be taken more seriously in society. As much as people care about their physical health, they need to pay the same amount of attention to their mental well-being as well. There are resources that can help you through a difficult time in your life. As someone who experiences depression, just know that there are better days ahead: You matter and you belong here. 

If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.

Makalah Wright is the Campus Correspondent at Her Campus at UWG chapter. For the chapter, she has written personal essays about real-life experiences and she encourages readers to take inspiration or learn from it. Beyond her position as the CC, she is also a national writer for the wellness section of the website. So far, she has written articles based on mental health, relationships, and other wellness-related topics. She is a junior at the University of West Georgia, studying in public relations with a minor in music. After her undergrad, she plans to get a masters in communication and work in either music business or the sports industry. She also hopes to create her own foundation that will help with funding for the performing arts in schools. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, shopping, traveling to new places, and drinking iced coffee. She also enjoys playing the clarinet and listening to all types of music, specifically jazz.