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  1. #1

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    Wishes and Worries

    For Immediate Release: April 20, 2005 - Toronto -

    Children have lots of questions when someone in their family drinks too much alcohol. Sometimes they just don't have the answers and alcohol problems often become the family secret that nobody talks about. To help children understand their parents' problems with alcohol, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, (CAMH), has recently published the first storybook of its kind developed in Canada, called Wishes and Worries.

    "Children tend to have worries and fears when someone in their family drinks too much alcohol. When children don't get accurate information, they often come up with their own wrong and sometimes frightening conclusions," says Dr. Bruce Ballon, a psychiatrist in CAMH's Youth and Addiction program. "Encouraging children to communicate will help them feel less confused and alone. This book can be used as a tool to start that conversation."

    Research conducted by CAMH has shown that children have many questions about their parents' substance use or mental health concerns, but there was a lack of resources to help explain these problems to children. To help solve this problem, CAMH began a series of children's storybooks in 2002 starting with Can I Catch it Like a Cold, a storybook to help explain a parent's depression. Wishes and Worries is the second book in this series.

    Wishes and Worries is written for children aged 5 to 10 years old, for use by parents, extended family, teachers and professionals who want to address the impact of a parent's problem with alcohol in children's lives. The book answers children's questions such as: "Does dad drink so much because of me?," "Is dad's drinking problem going to get worse?," and " Is my family different?"

    Wonderfully illustrated by Ben Hodson, this new storybook explores alcohol problems through the story of Maggie, an 8-year-old girl who wishes and worries that her father doesn't ruin her ninth birthday party the same way he ruined her last birthday. Maggie discovers that her father drinks too much alcohol, and through the help of family, friends, and professionals, Maggie gains a better understanding of her father's problem.

    Copies of Wishes and Worries are now available from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for $9.95 at 1-800-661-1111 (or 416-595-6059 in Toronto). An accompanying information brochure for adults is also available. The storybook will soon be available at selected bookstores. Information on addiction and mental health issues can be obtained by calling CAMH's 24-hour Information Line at 1-800-463-6273 or in Toronto at (416) 595-6111.

    CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre and a teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.


    Media contact: Sylvia Hagopian, CAMH Media Relations Co-ordinator, (416) 595-6015

    Wishes and Worries the storybook for children is available in English. The accompanying information brochure for adults is available in both English and French.

  2. #2

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    Wow! What great resources...

    Judy, you've done it again! Thanks!

  3. #3

    Thanks for posting this book!

    Hi - I'm new to PsychLinks. I am the publishing developer responsible for the development of this new book, which is part of the Storybooks for Children series at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I was so happy to see you that you picked up information from the press release and posted it here. I would be very interested to hear from more people about the need for books like this for children, even in other topic areas.



  4. #4

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    Welcome Suzy!

    It's wonderful to have these kind of resources for children. Good for you for being a big part of developing this new book!

    Well, since you asked, yes there is an area of need and that is the topic of schizophrenia. There are maybe 2 or 3 books in total dealing with this topic in North America and maybe even world wide.

    It would be good to have a book for children to deal with when a sibling, aunt, or other relative has schizophrenia. Also, one for when a parent has schizophrenia.

    Thanks for asking!


  5. #5

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    Thanks for that -- The next book in development is about bullying, with a big emphasis on coping. I'm currently looking into topics for the next two books in the series.

    I also developed the "What kids want to know" series of brochures. They are for adults who talk to kids about these difficult topics - they review the most common questions kids have when a parent (or other adult in their lives) has an addiction or mental health problem. So far, the titles are:

    When a parent is depressed...what kids want to know
    When a parent has bipolar disorder...what kids want to know
    When a parent dies by suicide...what kids want to know
    When a parent drinks too much alcohol...what kids want to know
    When a parent has experienced psychosis...what kids want to know

    These are all available through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, ON Canada. You can see more about them on our website at:

    Thanks again for your feedback.


  6. #6

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    Those brochures are really good. Thanks for posting about them. A book on bullying will be a nice addition.

    I hope you will have a childen's book on schizophrenia. The word itself is hard to spell, pronounce and remember but the name will never change. It is a specific brain disorder and to stop the stigma we need to use the word. There are many other illnesses that are difficult to spell and pronounce but we don't refrain from using it because of this.

    Sorry, got on a little tangent there.

    Another theme for a children's book that comes to mind is Alzheimer's. Many grand children and great grand children either have these grandparents living in their home or visit in nursing homes.

  7. #7

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    I also think books on other topics would be a welcome resource:

    bipolar disorder
    panic disorder (and agoraphobia)

  8. #8

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    Not to push aside or "diss" the moderators and the site admins ideas on the topic of the books, great ideas though, maybe for some of your topic ideas you should ask the some of the teenagers ,ages 13-16, in the area for what they wanted to know about some of their parents behaviors that they never were able to recieve. 13 - 16 year olds are old enough that they have both found out on their own but they still remember what it was like when they were little. I my self am 16 and don't discredit me because of it. No offense but these ideas from the 12-16 year olds might be very valuable to younger age groups in the future. I mean I never want my sister to go through what I had to go through not knowing everything about why parents do this and why parents do that.

  9. #9

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    I missed your second post somehow when I replied above, deesrr. Those look like excellent resources.

    Neosa, it's not that books for teens aren't important, but teens typically have other ways of seeking information (libraries, the internet, "adult" books) and asking for advice, whereas younger children don't usually have as many options. In addition, parents or older siblings or other relatives often don't know what to say to a younger child, or how to explain different illnesses and conditions and situations to them.

    That's why resources such as the ones being described here are so valuable and powerful.

  10. #10

    Wishes and Worries~Childrens Story Book

    I'm not talking about making a book for teens or having the teens "write the books" so to speak. All I'm saying is that they could use the information from teens only as to gain what they think would be good topics and ways that they found out and also also on how to react. More of a personal experience thing from a person who has an easier time trying to remember what it was like when they were younger. Im not saying that what they say should be put directly into the book im saying that the information that they give could just be used maybe a little bit easier with the younger kids other then someone who is older and doesn't remember as easily what its like to be a kid that doesn't know whats going on.

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