Children living with a parent dealing with substance use and/or mental health problems often have important and unanswered questions:
- Why does my mom or dad act the way she or he does?
- Will mom or dad get better?
- Why is my family so different?
- Is it my fault?
- Will it happen to me?
CAMH’s storybooks for children are engaging, clinically grounded educational resources – the first of their kind to be published in Canada. They offer a starting point for a discussion about problems in the family, and offer answers to common questions kids have. The storylines and the illustrations reflect ethnocultural diversity, making these books highly accessible and relevant to a broad range of children.
Smoking and Quitting: Clean Air for All
A story that addresses children’s concerns when people they know and love smoke
Smoking and Quitting tells the story of Daniel and his neighbour Trev's desire to live in a smoke-free home and apartment building. Neither of them can understand why his parents and other people they care about smoke when they know that it’s bad for them. Smoking was becoming a big problem—firefighters put out a fire in the laundry room that someone had started with a lighter, Daniel’s mom smoked when she walked the dog, and Marmalade the cat got sick from Mr. Becker’s smoking. The boys were even learning about how dangerous smoking was at school. Mustering up their courage, Daniel and Trev decided to hold a meeting to make their building smoke free. Everyone agreed to try to quit. Daniel began to worry when his mother started smoking again, and he learned that it was good to talk about his feelings and concerns. But they all had a lot to celebrate by the end of the summer; their building was almost smoke free! The best advice for Daniel and Trev? Never start smoking in the first place. Read more...
Wishes and Worries
A story to help children understand a parent who drinks too much alcohol
Wishes and Worries tells the story of Maggie and her struggle to understand her father’s problem with alcohol. Maggie wishes that her ninth birthday party will be better than her eighth. What a mess that was! Her father had been drinking and totally embarrassed her in front of her friends. Over the year, Maggie begins to get answers to some of her questions as she talks to her teacher, her school counsellor and her parents about her father’s problem with alcohol and how it affects everyone in the family. She learns that she is not responsible for her father’s drinking, that it’s OK to reach out for help, and that there are people in her life that she can trust and talk to about her feelings.
Can I Catch It Like a Cold?
A story to help children understand a parent’s depression
Can I Catch It Like a Cold? tells the story of Alex and his struggle to understand his father’s problem with depression. In this book, Alex can’t understand why his father sits at home alone crying, instead of coming out to watch him play his soccer game. Alex soon discovers that his father has depression. Alex learns what causes depression, what treatments are available and how he can cope and live well while his father is ill. He also learns that it’s not his fault that his father has depression – and no, depression is not something you can catch, like a cold. Read more...