I created my first-ever, original book tag—the Mental Health Book Tag—because, after researching Mental Illness in Young Adult Books, I was interested in how BookTubers were using these book tag videos to talk about mental health.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the tags I found. For instance, the Asylum Book Tag, which includes the following questions:
- A book couple that drove you nuts?
- You’re going off the rails fast: name a book series that will pull you out of the dark place?
- Name a book that messed with your head and left you shaking?
- You are going into solitary confinement for one year and you can only bring one book series. What would it be?
- BREAK OUT! Name one character that would help you escape the asylum?
- You are stuck in an asylum: name one character you would chose as a cellmate?
- Name a character that you would be terrified to be locked up with?
Especially after reading Molly McCully Brown’s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems, which I gave a 3 star rating on Goodreads and discussed in my Winter Wrap Up & Spring TBR, I found this tag to trivialize mental health and downplay the trauma that people went through in these institutions.
Because of this book tag and others that I found problematic regarding mental illness, I wanted to create a positive book tag surrounding—not only mental illness—but mental health in general, so I came up with the Mental Health Book Tag:
- What’s a book or series that features a strong support system?
- What’s a book, series, or genre that you turn to when you need to take care of yourself? What’s something that you do—other than reading—to take care of your mental health?
- What’s a book that features a character that is relatable to your mental health or illness?
- What’s a book that depicts a bad representation of a mental difference or mental illness?
- What’s a book that depicts a good representation of a mental difference or mental illness?
- What’s your favorite book that features mental difference or mental illness?
- What’s your least book that features mental difference or mental illness?
- What’s a book that takes you to your happy place? When you are dealing with mental health struggles, what is your happy place?
- What’s your favorite quote from a book that features mental difference or mental illness? What’s something you want other people to know about mental difference or mental illness?
Tag, you’re it! I hope you complete this Mental Health Book Tag to help continue a public conversation about mental illness—or answer the questions in the comments below!