Tameside author sets out to publish children’s novel promoting mental health awareness

  • Author from Ashton-under-Lyne has written children’s novel based around the concept of mental illness
  • Book focusses on range of mental illnesses affecting young people 

A book highlighting the mental health of young people has been written by a mum who wants to reach out to other sufferers.

Special educational needs teacher Leanne Brown, 35, wants to shares her own experience of mental illness through the children’s book, Daniel’s Dream.

The book focusses on a range of mental illnesses with the intention of promoting and raising awareness to connect to other families.

Leanne, of Ashton, said: “I came up with the name based on the concept of ‘monsters in our heads’ being the mental health issues lots of people suffer with, adults and children.

“I wanted the monsters to come alive so that they could explain that not all monsters are bad and that lots of us have monsters in our heads that we are dealing with.’’

Leanne’s ethos: Dream Believe, Read

She has worked with children with a variety of social, emotional, mental health related problems, which, inspired the central theme of Daniel’s Dream.
The story follows the dreams of a young boy named Daniel. However this is not any ‘ordinary’ dream.

Leanne said: “Daniel is a shy boy. He gets anxious about certain things in his life and his escape is his dreams.

”But on this certain night, a monster arrives in his bedroom, who takes him to Monster Mountain on an adventure.

“When he arrives there, he meets lots of different monsters, who all represent a different mental health issue, and he has to help one certain monster who suffers with anxiety’’

Her eight-year-old daughter Erin has been an inspiration to her for the book. Since being a young baby, Leanne has read to her every night something she continues to do so.

Leanne said: “I created him based on how a child may present as being ‘normal’ but suffers silently with worry and concern. 

”The idea is that Daniel will return each night to his dreams and help overcome a mental health issue that the monsters suffer with’’.

Leanne and Erin (Daughter)
Leanne and daughter Erin

Following her own battles with mental illness, Leanne wants to raise awareness for mental health.

She said: ‘’My hope and want deep down is to at least help one person. If I can help one child, laugh, be happy or understand, then I have achieved what I wanted. Anyone enjoying the book, for pleasure, is a complete bonus to me’’. 

The author intends to create a sequel of books following Daniel and his dreams, as well as possibly establishing a similar range for the older age ranges with the similar theme.

Leanne said: “I’d love to develop a teenager and young adult fiction book range on current issues they face with mental health.

“Some issues that tend to be more evident in teenagers rather than younger children.’’ 

Daniels Dream should be ready for publication in the next few months.

Instagram @Dreambelieveread