Little Bea has a pretend friend, so does Big Jay. Their pretend friends are very different and people react very differently to them. Little Bea has lots of fun adventures with her pretend friend Nye Nye. Big Jay's pretend friends don't make him happy, in fact they can make life quite hard for Big Jay.
This full colour story book helps to explain in a child-friendly way what life is like for those who hear voices or have other hallucinations or delusions as a result of mental illness. Appropriate for children aged 4 and above, it describes why these auditory and visual hallucinations are very different to the enjoyable imaginary friends many children create, and explains some of the things that may help people like Big Jay.
As an adult living with schizophrenia, I love the idea of introducing young children to the concept of severe mental illnesses, to help them learn not to be afraid of adults living with one. Hopefully if children can learn about mental health at a young age, they will grow up into understanding adults, less likely to have stigmatising beliefs about mental illness.
– Katy Gray
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