Montreal mom hopes children’s books will help heal kids suffering from mental health issues

News source from CTV News

CTV Montreal

Published Saturday, December 22, 2018 11:07PM EST

Last Updated Saturday, December 22, 2018 11:10PM EST

A West Island mother, concerned over what she calls a gap in resources for children suffering from anxiety and mental health issues, has turned to writing children’s books as a way to help.

Elaheh Bos’ first book, Lola’s Words Disappear, came out in 2013 and the story’s protagonist was inspired by Bos’ own daughter, Nora. Now 12-years-old, Nora suffers from selective mutism, a rare condition that leaves her vocal cords paralyzed when she’s under stress.

Bos tried to find a story her daughter could relate to as a way to help her, but found nothing. So, she decided to write and illustrate one herself.

“I really wanted her to find a friend, someone she could relate to,” said Bos. “The first time I read it to her, this light came on and it was like ‘Mom, she’s just like me’ and suddenly we could talka bout what was going on.”
Since that first novel, Bos had moved on to a series exploring how to control anger and other emotions. Each copy comes with tips for parents on the back. Bos’s books are also being used for children with similar conditions to Nora’s at the Jewish General Hospital.

Bos said there’s a lack of resources and the government needs to increase access to health professionals for kids before kindergarten.

“It’s much easier to help them then, than when they get older and when things become a habit,” she said.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann said a program along those lines is in the works.

“In our program, we have measures to support parents of children who have a disability, so we will certainly improve access,” she said.

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