Stories can help educators and parents tackle challenging topics, such as mental health and emotional wellbeing. Showing children it’s okay to be a little shy, but curious and brave in the world, our stories about anxiety, courage and overcoming challenges can help explore mental health themes.

As October is Mental Health Awareness month, teachers, librarians and family carers are encouraged to use diverse titles to springboard discussions about mental health with young ones. Explore selected stories below, or find more titles about mental health here in our growing digital library.

It's Okay To Feel The Way You Do

Suitable for lower to upper primary students. Bursting with simple and effective ways that kids can notice and handle difficult emotions like anger, anxiety, and loss and also rejoice in the positive feelings such as joy, empathy and happiness, this is a little story with a big message.

What To Say When You Don't Know What To Say is a warm and whimsical guide to negotiating life's little moments and big emotions with empathy, kindness and words from the heart. From award-winning and much-loved author Davina Bell and exciting new illustrator, Hilary Jean Tapper. Read by Tamala Shelton.

Slow Down, World

Suitable for students from preschool to upper primary years. From a fast-paced metropolis to the greener, magical places of a young girl's imagination, Slow Down, World is a whimsical journey towards mindfulness. Learn the importance of making your own way, how good it is to take your time, and how to be brave.

Magnificent Mistakes and Fantastic Failures

Refreshingly simple and delightfully quirky, this story will help kids build resilience. They’ll discover how life’s little upsets can be big opportunities to learn and grow. And how good friends, positive self-talk, creativity and curiosity can help them become more confident.

Don't Think About Purple Elephants

Suitable for preschool to middle primary year students. Passionate children's literature advocate and author Susan Whelan, has written an insightful, humorous and thoughtful story for younger children, that provides a wonderful opportunity for discussing and dealing with troublesome thoughts.

Too Much for Turtle

A charmingly sweet story about friendship, community and overcoming shyness from creative duo Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles. In addition to the gentle, fun and chaotic story about reclusive Turtle and her neighbours, children will delight in the visual feast of the hand-crafted images.

Explore more stories about mental health, anxiety and resilience here.