An author from Ashton-under-Lyne has created a children’s book that focuses on the range of mental illnesses that present themselves in youth – and is hoping to get other families involved.
Leanne Brown, 35, has been using her time over lockdown while on break as a special educational needs teacher to pen ‘Daniel’s Dream’, a story with an underlying moral about mental wellbeing.
She told us: “I had always loved to read books to my eight-year-old daughter Erin and it was always something she really enjoyed, and still does. As an avid reader and my work in special educational needs and my own personal experience… I felt there was a slight lack in children’s books that focused on the range of mental health illnesses that are on the rise in children – so I wrote Daniel’s Dream.”
The story follows a child called Daniel, who goes on different adventures in his sleep and comes across a monster village that is not all what it seems.
“It’s a beautiful story about friendship, acceptance and kindness – the future books in the series will still see Daniel as the main character but each book will deal with a different mental health illness.
“For me, mental health is so topical, and we see it on the rise regularly. It is through my job that I have seen how many children suffer with mental health illnesses. I too am a suffer and understand how difficult it can be to explain to people what it feels like.
“It is so difficult to explain how you feel when no one can see how you are suffering. So, I felt this must be even worse for children. They often can’t articulate exactly what they feel and more importantly, why they feel that way. I wanted my book to be a message to all children that they are not alone; that many of us, children and adults alike, are having to deal with different mental illnesses and that it is ok, not to be ok.”
Leanne is keen to emphasise that people are here to help, listen and assist children in overcoming their illnesses, hoping that children read her book and know that there are strategies there.
“If my book does this for one child, then I have already achieved everything I wanted to do.”
Because of this, Leanne also wants to acknowledge children in the book. She has put out a social media post on Instagram at dreambelieveread asking if anyone would like their child’s name included in the back of the book, as a nod from author to kids that are “simply amazing in every way.”
She has already been inundated with requests from parents who would like their children to be featured, and entries are still open until 31 October 2020.
“I thank them for their support and I can’t wait for them to see the finished product and for them to finally be able to read my book to their children!”
If anyone is interested, they can get in touch with Leanne through her Instagram page or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.