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TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. — A Tumbler Ridge doctor has written three books on children’s mental health to raise awareness and provide insight for parents.
Doctor Ifeanyichukwu Akanegbu, also known as Dr. Ife, said he wrote the books to help children and their parents understand the impact of children’s mental health.
“There’s a rise in mental health illness, which is very concerning. We are more knowledgeable about [mental illness] for adults, ” Dr. Ife said.
The general public knows more about the symptoms in adults, said Dr. Ife, but children don’t display the “classic” signs.
“For example, you might just see they don’t feel like playing; they don’t want to go to school, abdominal discomfort.”
“Parents and caregivers don’t really pick [the signs] up, but they’re actually there.”
Dr. Ife said it is time to raise awareness about children’s mental health, which is why he decided to write his Motivating Our Champions series. The books titled Janel’s Struggle, Lila and the New Bully, and My Grandpa is a Hero are kicking off the series.
“I’m a storyteller. I make stories,” Akanegbu said. “One of the ways of getting [children’s] interest is in pictures. Students like picture books.”
Despite more people openly discussing their mental health, Dr. Ife said there is still a stigma.
“I feel this would be a way of engaging parents with their children. They can talk about it even at home.”
Dr. Ife said he wants to keep adding to the series until he has discussed all mental health conditions in picture form.
He believes writing about and raising awareness of children’s mental health will help in the long run for adults as well.
“I need parents and caregivers to understand how this works for children, and that way, they themselves will understand how it works for adults,” Dr. Ife said.
The books would soon be available in Peace region libraries, said Dr.Ife.
He will be hosting a meet and greet at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library on March 4th from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The books can be found on My Cute Stories and will launch on Amazon on March 4th.
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