Durham mum writes mental health book in hopes of helping youngsters

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Durham mum writes mental health book in hopes of helping youngsters

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) — It’s been five months since Wa’Quita McCauley published her first book, “Writefully Honest,” and she’s already sold hundreds of copies.

The Durham mum said ‘Writefully Honest’ is an interactive mental health book for children aged 11 to 18 and is intended to address their mental health and wellbeing. The book asks children questions and allows them to reflect and express their feelings about different things.

McCauley said parents, summer camps and schools started buying the books in bulk.

“If you had told me last year that I would have done all of this, I wouldn’t have believed it,” McCauley said.

McCauley said she had the idea to write the book last year when her son told her Durham Public Schools was offering pupils a ‘mental health day’ out of school.

“From there I asked if there would be any activities or anything to do while they were out for the day. And he was like, ‘no, we just have the day off,’ McCauley said. “From there, being a mom, I created something for my son.”

McCauley typed up a three to four page activity for his son, which gave him the chance to answer a series of questions about his feelings about different things such as COVID, relationships with family and friends and his goals for the future.

“From there, I started letting others know what I had done with it, and other people wanted a copy of it as well,” McCauley said.

After that, McCauley wanted to go further and help even more young people.

That’s when she decided to write the interactive mental health book, “Writefully Honest.”

The book has 14 different chapters and focuses on everything from self-confidence, to different cultures, to identity and other lived experiences of young people.

McCauley held free workshops over the summer where young people could have a safe space to fill in the book and express their thoughts and feelings.

“You never realize how many kids don’t get that at home,” McCauley said.

McCauley said she feels there is a need for more mental health resources for young people in Durham, and this book is a way for young people to express their thoughts and feel heard.

McCauley said she thinks it’s a proactive way to help young people before they turn to other things, like the streets.

“One thing all kids need is attention and all kids need love,” McCauley said. “If they feel like they’re not getting that love and that attention, if someone’s not listening to them, then they’re going to get it somewhere else.”

McCauley said she was able to sell her book to some schools in the area, but was also working to sell it to more schools in Durham and outside Durham.

“I’m not saying I can change the world with this, but if I can at least have a small impact on someone else’s life and provide a little support, why not?” said McCauley.

McCauley said this book is the first in a series and that this first edition is called “Be Yourself”. She said the second edition will be released in April or May 2023.

For more information about the book or if you want to buy a book, click on here.

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