4 Books on Mental Health Written by People of Color

July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, so here are five novels on mental health written by authors of color.

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Due to the discrimination they face in the United States, many members of the BIPOC community have struggled with their mental health. Studies have shown that people of color living in America have more mental health issues than white people overall. This is likely coorelated with the fact they are forced to live in fear of their emotional and physical safety. July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, so here are five novels on mental health written by authors of color.



The Color of Hope by Vanessa Hazzard

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The Color of Hope by Vanessa Hazzard is a novel full of mental health narratives. The pieces were written by people of color who have struggled with mental health issues, which were often caused by the discrimination they faced. This novel is a fantastic way to help white readers empathize with the experiences of those who deal with racism and will hopefully encourage them to be better allies and advocates for the BIPOC community.


My Body is A Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta

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My Body Is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta is a memoir that takes readers through a woman’s journey with mental illness as an American-Indian woman. In the novel, Washuta covers her experiences with sexual trauma, bipolar disorder, and the medications that nearly killed her. The book shows Elissa’s struggle with her Native Identity and is a great learning tool for anyone who may be wondering what it’s like to live in the shoes of a person of color.


I’ve Never BEEn (Un)Happier by Shaheen Bhatt

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I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier by Shaheen Bhatt tells the story of screenwriter and Bollywood actress, Shaheen, who was diagnosed with depression at age 18. She is incredibly self-aware and is able to discuss what it’s like to deal with mental illness under the privileged circumstances she had as a child-star. It’s a very educational read!



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Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot is a novel full of personal essays that tell that story of an indigenous woman and the struggles she faced growing up in a dysfunctional household. The novel takes us through the woman’s journey as she is hospitalized due to suffering from bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder. Eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, and sexual ideation are discussed in the novel as well.



So many people—people of color in particular—struggle with mental health issues in 2021, and it so important that they are written and talked about. You can purchase any of the books above on Amazon!



Featured Image Via Mental Health America