Did you know reading can boost mental health? It’s been tough out there. That’s why we’ve created The Community Mental Health Project to help you find the mental and emotional support you or a loved one might need. The Community Mental Health Project features informative videos, programs, and recommended reads, all created by and for Black and Latinx/a/o New Yorkers—communities who have experienced the highest health disparities and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Explore 39 powerful mental health reads below! These books cover everything from practicing self-care to understanding mental illness.
Many of these books are available in one or more accessible formats, as linked below.
If you find it hard to read standard print, The New York Public Library’s Andrew Heiskell Library provides free access to talking books, talking book players, braille, a talking book download website and a free talking book and e-braille app for mobile devices. Learn more and apply.
Note: DB = available on BARD in talking book format and as a mailable talking book. Some titles are available through Bookshare and can be found through the Bookshare (BK) link under that title. All Heiskell members can gain access to Bookshare for free.
DB (digital talkingbook) / BK (Bookshare)
Looking for more? Check out these mental wellness book lists: 75 lecturas imprescindibles sobre la salud mental (Spanish books for adults)
39 Mental Wellness Must Reads
A Hunger So Wide and So Deep: American Women Speak Out on Eating Problems by Becky W. Thompson
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting: Real Talk for When There's No Where to Go but UP by Terrie M. Williams
Care for the Mental and Spiritual Health of Black Men: Hope to Keep Going by Nicholas Grier
I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse by Lori S. Robinson
In and Out of Our Right Minds: The Mental Health of African American Women edited by Diane R. Brown and Verna M. Keith
Psychological Health of Women of Color: Intersections, Challenges, and Opportunities edited by Lillian Comas-Díaz and Beverly Greene
The Color of My Mind: Mental Health Narratives from People of Color = El color de mi mente: narrativas de salud mental de personas de color edited by Dior Vargas
The Strong Black Woman: How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women by Marita Golden
Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
This book list was made possible through support from the Leon Levy Foundation.