Credit: Chris Duke via press release

British Dad’s Book Aims to Destigmatize Mental Health Issues in Kids

by | June 27, 2019

A British dad after he came to terms with depression, following his wife’s postpartum questionnaire, realized how tough mental health issues can be to cope up with. He never considered he could be depressed until a health visitor suggested he may be. After he became aware, it struck him how difficult it may be for children to cope up with the same. And from there started the quest to let kids in the UK know, “It’s okay not be okay.”

British Dad's Book Aims to Destigmatize Mental Health Issues in Kids
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British Dad Seeks to Destigmatize Mental Health Issues in Kids By Letting Them Know “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay”

Chris Duke, former radio presenter, party DJ, and a dad-of-three never considered he could be suffering from depression. But after the birth of his first daughter in 2010, things started to surface. In a post-partum questionnaire session with his wife, the health practitioner suggested Duke should answer some questions. It came out, he wasn’t feeling “quite right.” And based on the questionnaire results it came out Chris was suffering from post-natal depression and was suggested medical advice.

It was after his diagnosis, he realized the stigma society attaches to mental health in adults, and how difficult it could be to deal with. His attention then turned towards kids, thinking how much difficult it would be for them to cope up with mental health issues. There started “Lucy’s Blue Day” a scintillating book for children along with a national speaking quest to tell kids in the UK, “It’s Okay Not to be Okay.”

Trying to Touch As Many Lives Possible. Who is Lucy?

Lucy is a little girl with magical hair. Her hair change color in sync with her emotions. When she’s happy, it becomes purple, when jealous, green. But out of the usual, one day Lucy wakes up to find her hair turned blue, a color she isn’t accustomed to. And soon thereafter she learns- #OKNotToBeOK.

Credit: Chris Duke via press release

Lucy’s Blue Day upholds the youth mental health issue sans the stigmas attached to it. Just like Lucy soon learns to live with the blue of her hair, young readers are taught that it is okay to feel blue at times. Chris Duke is currently traveling nationally throughout the UK, speaking and reading to children from every walks of life, trying to change as many lives as possible.

Mastered By Life

The book is the epitome of Chirs’ personal journey and the way out of it, that life taught him. This makes the book achieve what he seeks, despite having no degrees in mental health. The book has garnered some great praises from influential people like Stephen Fry, who hailed the book as ‘charming.’ Lorraine Kelly stated, “It’s such a clever, common-sense and totally relatable way to talk about mental health.” Chris says about the book:

“It’s a universal message, which is why I have traveled around the country to schools and other groups, reading the book and spreading the wider message of embracing and accepting all mental health issues without stigma, fear or shame. There’s plenty more work to be done, and we’ve recently complemented the book with packs that contain pencils, bracelets, an audiobook, and other items. As you can see, we plan to spread this message as far and wide as possible.”

Chris Duke via press release

Visit the official website here for more information on purchase and other projects.

Chris Duke launched the book earlier this year after receiving funding from EuroMillions winners Fred and Lesley Higgins, The Evening Standard reported. Initially, he was running £700 short but was boosted by the EuroMillions winners. According to the media report, Fred and Lesley Higgins have pledged financial support of an undisclosed sum to Chris aiding him to make the book a success.

What do you think about the book that helps kids to de-stigmatize mental health issues? Let me know your thoughts in comments.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]



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