Engaging adolescents in mental health discussions through young adult literature: A literature review

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de Leon, Clarissa
Adolescents , Mental Health , Young Adult Literature
This literature review explores the potential of using young adult literature (YAL) as a vehicle for engaging adolescents in mental health discussions by viewing it through the lenses of bibliotherapy and counter-storytelling. In bibliotherapy, books are used to promote mental health and emotional well-being. This includes the use of fiction to provide young readers with opportunities to address their personal struggles through fictional characters rather than directly confronting their own experiences. Counter-stories are narratives belonging to groups whose stories are not typically heard in society. These narratives give members of marginalized groups a voice while also allowing members of the majority group to access perspectives outside of their own experiences. This paper concludes with a discussion about gaps in current research on adolescent mental health and YAL and the need to access adolescent perspectives on mental health for mental health support and intervention programs.
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