Did you ever read any of the Chicken Soup for the Soul… books back when they were super popular in the 2000s? Well Hello Me, It’s You, an eBook edited by Hannah Todd, is like a modern Chicken Soup for adolescents and young adults struggling with mental health issues.
Read on for my full review of this nonfiction collection of letters from young adults to their younger selves, detailing their personal experiences with mental illness.
Title – Hello Me, It’s You Editor – Hannah Todd
Pub. Date – October 10, 2016 Format – eBook
“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”
Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.
This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realising she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.
Trigger warning: Due to it’s nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.
“…both beautiful and necessary” Sarah Franklin
My Rating: 4.5/5
Hello Me, It’s You is an emotional collection of letters with a strong message of hope and resilience. The book was enjoyable to read overall, though not always easy. But mental illness isn’t an easy topic, and so being a little difficult to read (emotionally) was something I sort of expected going into this.
The letters that make up this collection are, for the most part, quite short and easy to read (logically; we’ve already discussed emotionally). At different moments they are uplifting and encouraging and harrowing and sad. But the difficulties and struggles are overshadowed by a unifying thread of resilience and survival that connects that various anonymous authors. Hello Me, It’s You is made up of stories of real people who’ve been there, who’ve struggled in the trenches against their mental illness, and are making it through.
Hello Me, It’s You is essential reading for any teen or young adult struggling with mental illness. This letter collection would also be appreciated by those in recovery from mental illness, as well as by mental health professionals and high schools teachers (and coaches and others who work with teens). A lot of mental health problems begin to show themselves in adolescence and early adulthood, and so a book like Hello Me, It’s You is right on target. Perhaps it would be even more useful as a resource for young teens who’ve yet to experience any mental health woes, so that in case they do experience them they’ll already know they’re not alone.
Check out Hello Me, It’s You, edited by Hannah Todd. You won’t be sad you did.
Thank you so much for reading this book review about a very important topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve talked about my mental health struggles before and while they thankfully don’t play as large of a role in my life now as they used to, I can understand the struggle that is living with a mental illness and I appreciate the strength of each and every one of you out there battling through mental illness and recovery. Stay strong.