A new children’s book focusing on mental health is being praised by the mental health sector and agricultural industries.
Written by children’s author Harriet Bremner, “Use Your Voice” is a collaboration with Elle Perriam founder of Will To Live and their dogs – Poppy the sausage dog and Jess the Huntaway.
For former primary school teacher Bremner, it’s her third book in a series aimed at rural children named Gurt And Pops.
“It’s about spreading important messages, we need to give children the tools to be able to cry when they feel like it, talk to someone about how they are feeling without judgement and have a tribe around them who will stand by their side through thick and thin,” she says.
Using a black dog to tell a story of ‘the black dog’, the book follows Jess the Huntaway - around a South Island high country station, who then loses her bark.
In the book, Jess feels sad and depressed after losing her voice.
Sausage dog Poppy and her farmyard friends then help Jess through her tough time whilst also delivering important messages about mental health to children encouraging them to speak up about how they feel, that it’s okay to cry and to tell others about their feelings.