Friday, January 30, 2015

Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge

January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

About the Challenge:
I started the Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge in December 2010 in an effort to raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of mental illness.  Reading, both fiction and nonfiction, is an excellent way to broaden one’s horizons and expose one to new ideas and ways of thinking and being.  Many reading challenges already existed in the book blogging community to address racism, sexism, and homophobia, but I could not find any to address the stigma faced by those suffering from mental illness.  In spite of mental illnesses being recognized by the scientific community as diseases just like physical ones, many still think those suffering from one are at fault for their own suffering.  I hope reading and reviewing books featuring characters struggling to deal with mental illness, whether their own or another person’s, will help remove the stigma faced on a daily basis by those with a mental illness.  They already have to struggle with an illness; they shouldn’t have to face a stigma too.

Please note that this is the original MIA Reading Challenge. For the years 2010-2014 there were no other reading challenges addressing mental illness.

What books count?
Any book, fiction or nonfiction, that is either about mental illness or features characters or real people with a mental illness counts for the challenge.  However, the book must not demonize people with mental illnesses.

So, for example, the movie Fatal Attraction, which features a character with Borderline Personality Disorder, would not count since she is demonized in the movie.  However, Girl Interrupted, which also features a character with Borderline Personality Disorder, would count since that character is presented as a three-dimensional person with good and bad traits.

If you’re having trouble coming up with books to read for the challenge, check out the list of reading suggestions below.

Challenge Levels:
Acquainted–4 books
Aware–8 books
Advocate–12 books

GoodReads Group
It’s not required to join the GoodReads group, but it’s there if you want to join it.  Joining it will automatically notify you when a new read is added to the reading suggestions list.

This reading challenge is hosted by Opinions of a Wolf. For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.