National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Bookshelf: March 2009

Editors note: Click the book title to order the book from and NAMI will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Straight TalkStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids – 3rd Edition
by Timothy E. Wilens, M.D. (The Guilford Press 2009 - 325 pages)

A resource for parents who are considering giving medication to children with emotional or behavioral issues.  

The book contains answers to common questions about appropriate medications, possible alternatives, and safety and efficacy issues. 

It has three sections—“what every parent should know about psychiatric medications for children”; “common childhood psychiatric disorders”; and “the psychotropic medications.”

Freeing Your ChildFreeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility, and Happiness
by Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D. (Da Capo Press 2008 - 321 pages)

A resource for parents, caregivers, and clinicians that explores the underlying causes of children’s negative attitudes. 

It offers strategies on coping with and managing negative attitudes, building optimism, and establishing emotional resilience through “right-sizing” problems. 

Chapter 6, “When Negativity Takes Hold: Does My Child Need Professional Help?” is helpful for readers to determine “how much negativity is normal?” in children, relative to actual depression.

Your TownMental Illness and Your Town: 37 Ways for Communities to Help and Heal
by Larry Hayes (Loving Healing Press 2009 - 160 pages)

Part call to action and part memoir, the book offers suggestions for helping people with mental illnesses in a community.

They include “Expose the Myths,” “Give Them Cell Phones,” and “Invent a New System.”

Each suggestion is followed by often witty commentary based on personal experience. The author is the former editorial page editor for the Fort Wayne, Indiana Journal Gazette and recipient of a NAMI Outstanding Media Award. His son lives with bipolar disorder.