Mental health topic guide for teens

Kia ora koutou. We recommend books and websites will help you learn more about mental health and wellbeing.

Reading in Mind Book Scheme for mental health and wellbeing

The Reading in Mind Book Scheme for mental health and wellbeing recommends books on a range of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and worry. Here is their list of recommendations for young people:


Mental Health for teens - Christchurch City Libraries

List created by ChristchurchTeens

These books - fiction and non-fiction - have positive messages about fostering mental health. A Christchurch City Libraries list for teens.

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn't be here but is. So Biz doesn't tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn't tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was six.

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis. Azra is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thought

Drawing is not just Judd's biggest passion; it's how he escapes when his parents are fighting. In high school, his artistic talents get him praise, but at home they're his means of survival. Then one day, it happens. Love, exactly like in the movies. But just when his dreams are about to come true, reality catches up with him. Barely settled in her new high school, Kate is pulled into a strange, disorienting world. Inexplicable events are occurring around her and even in her sleep. Soon, her entire reality blends with the imaginary. And in that blurry space, she crosses Judd's path and makes an unlikely connection. This book is by a young Christchurch author.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness's bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week's end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions.

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium. As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst—that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

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Mental health organisations and websites for teens

  • The Lowdown is a website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. 
  • Youthline Need to talk? Youthline is there to help.
  • Live for Tomorrow is a project by youth organisation Zeal which reaches struggling young people with messages of hope and positive change, online and in school. Whether it’s mental health, identity, bullying, self-harm, alcohol use, suicide or something else, they are here and they care.
  • is dedicated to equipping teenagers with the information and skills they need to negotiate the adolescent years and build meaningful lives. The materials, based on credible research and linked to the health curriculum, give young people strategies for solving problems, handling stress, building resilience and negotiating relationships.
  • is a website brought to you by New Zealand Red Cross and is a place for young people to find tips and inspiration to live life well.
  • Common Ground support for young people to manage hard times and enjoy happier lives.
  • Services for youth CINCH (Community Information Christchurch) listing of services aimed at young people.
  • Mental Health Education Resource Centre in Christchurch provides information, a free public library, as well as professional development and community education about mental health, wellbeing, mental illness, and addiction.
  • Community and Public Health features a wide range of health information.
  • All Right? is a campaign that gets Cantabrians talking to their friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues about whether they’re really All Right.
  • Mental Health Foundation makes mental health everybody’s business. Supports wellbeing with great resources including the Wellbeing Game.
  • has information and support for those going through grief and other difficult situations.
  • provides phone, text, email and live chat support to anyone who has issues with alcohol or other drugs, or who is supporting someone with these issues.