24 Books for Parents of Children with Mental Health Challenges


As a parent and a professional, I know all too well the overwhelming struggle of trying to raise a child with serious mental health challenges. It can be incredibly difficult to navigate systems that are lacking in resources and far behind other medical conditions when it comes to offering support. 

Educating ourselves is one of the most powerful ways to better understand and support our children and ourselves. 

I have collected a list of some books that have been immensely helpful to me in understanding and supporting my own children living with mental health difficulties. 

These books for parents of children with mental health challenges provide an in-depth exploration into the lived experiences of those with mental health struggles, as well as research-based evidence about different strategies for helping them cope. 

Some may focus on specific diagnoses, such as bipolar disorder or autism spectrum disorder; others may take a more general approach by examining how mental health issues affect both adults and children alike.


Books for Parents of Children with Mental Health Challenges

Click on title to get a direct link to each book.

  1. “The Explosive Child” by Ross W. Greene: Offers strategies for understanding and managing explosive behavior in children with behavioral challenges.
  2. An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield Jamison: A memoir that provides insight into bipolar disorder from both a personal and professional perspective.
  3. The Out-of-Sync Child” by Carol Kranowitz: Explores sensory processing issues and offers practical advice for helping children with sensory challenges.
  4. Lost at School” by Ross W. Greene: Provides collaborative problem-solving techniques for addressing behavioral issues at school.
  5. “The Whole-Brain Child” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson: Offers strategies to help parents foster emotional intelligence and resilience in their children.
  6. “Helping Your Child with Sensory Regulation: Skills to Manage the Emotional and Behavioral Components of Your Child’s Sensory Processing Challenges” by: Suzanne Mouton-Odum and Ruth Goldfinger Golumb: Provides guidance and support for parents raising children with emotional and sensory challenges.
  7. The Bipolar Child” by Demitri Papolos and Janice Papolos: A comprehensive guide to understanding and managing bipolar disorder in children.
  8. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Edmund J. Bourne: Offers practical exercises and strategies to help parents support children with anxiety disorders.
  9. I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!” by Xavier Amador: Provides guidance on communicating with and supporting loved ones with mental illness, including schizophrenia.
  10. The OCD Workbook for Kids” by Anthony C. Puliafico and Joanna A. Robin: A workbook designed to help children and their parents manage symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.


11. “The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques” by Margaret Wehrenberg: Offers practical tools and techniques for managing anxiety in children and teenagers.

12.”The Power of Different” by Gail Saltz: Explores the link between mental illness and creativity, providing insight and inspiration for parents.

13.”Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating” by Katja Rowell and Jenny McGlothlin: A resource for parents of children with selective eating disorders, offering strategies for expanding food choices and addressing mealtime challenges.

14.”The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog” by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz: Explores the impact of trauma on children’s development and provides insights into healing.

15. “Parenting Through the Storm” by Ann Douglas: Offers support and advice for parents navigating the challenges of raising children with mental health issues.

16.”The Optimistic Child” by Martin E. P. Seligman: Presents strategies for promoting optimism and resilience in children.         

17. “When My Worries Get Too Big!” by Kari Dunn Buron: A resource for parents helping        children with autism manage anxiety.

18. Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health” by Thomas Insel: Dr. Insel offers a comprehensive plan for our failing system and for families trying to discern the way forward.

19.“Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity” by Devon Price: Dr. Devon Price shares his personal experience with masking and blends history, social science research, prescriptions, and personal profiles to tell a story of neurodivergence

20.”Helping Your Anxious Child” by Ronald M. Rapee, Ann Wignall, Susan H. Spence, and Heidi Lyneham: Offers practical advice for parents of children struggling with anxiety.

21.”The Bipolar Teen” by David J. Miklowitz: A comprehensive guide for parents of teenagers with bipolar disorder, offering practical advice on managing symptoms and supporting their child’s well-being.

22.“Flooded: A Brain Based Guide to Help Children Regulate Emotions” by Allison Edwards: Allison Edwards explains how parents, teachers, and counselors can identify when children have entered The Flood Zone. She also offers suggestions for teaching children (and adults!) how to regain control of their emotions.

23.”Helping Teens Who Cut” by Michael Hollander: Offers guidance for parents of adolescents who engage in self-harming behaviors, providing understanding and tools for support.

24.”Parenting from the Inside Out” by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell: Explores the impact of a parent’s own emotional experiences on their child’s development and provides strategies for building strong parent-child connections.

As parents and professionals, we can all feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to raising children with serious mental health challenges. Hopefully, this list has been helpful in your own journey. 

In addition to exploring these books, I’m also here to answer any questions that you might have along the way. Check out www.mymensana.com for more resources and join our Facebook Community Raising a Beautiful Mind.

Picture of Jennifer Ulie, Ph.D.

Jennifer Ulie, Ph.D.

2x Founder, CEO, Motivational Speaker, Author, Teacher, PhD, and Geek about holistic health and evidence-based practices to help people unlock the best parts of themselves again. Follow @mymensana.

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