Upcoming Library Programs focused on Teens and Mental Health

Contact: Tess Mayer
Director of Library Services
Berkeley Public Library

Upcoming Library Programs focused on Teens and Mental Health

Also: New Spaces, Staff and Programs just for Teens!

Berkeley, California (September 19, 2022) – Several programs focused on wellness, mental health resources and community-building are being held at the Library for teens in the coming weeks:

Planting Wellness Workshop: teens decorate pots and repot plants to take home from PlanterDay while learning about local resources for mental health and wellness.

Teen Hangout: weekly community building with table top games, crafts, movies, video games and more.

Treat Yourself! Make Your Own Self-Care Kit: gather tools and connect with the Bay-Area teen-led mental health advocacy organization, SafeSpace.

A reading list of books in the collection for teens and related to mental health can be found on bookmarks on display in the libraries or by entering the search term “YAcoping” into the online catalog. This curated list includes both nonfiction and fiction titles such as Depression, a Teen’s Guide to Survive and Thrive, by Jacqueline B. Toner, Flawd: How to Stop Hating on Yourself, Others, and the Things that Make You Who You Are, by Emily-Anne Rigal and The Silence that Binds Us, by Joanna Ho.

“Our youth here in Berkeley and nationwide have been experiencing an acute mental health crisis; if teens themselves are not struggling with mental health challenges, someone they know is or has,” notes Director of Library Services Tess Mayer. “With three new teen librarians, a new social worker on staff, expanded teen programming and dedicated teen spaces, the Library is here as a resource and a welcoming space for teens and their loved ones.”

Every Berkeley Public Library has a dedicated teen room – with the most recent one opening at Central, just a half a block from Berkeley High School. “The highlight of my day is observing teens in this new space where they can be completely themselves,” Brianna Meli, teen librarian, smiles and says. “The teen room is always full, every day, especially afterschool. It is my job to listen to our teens, hear them and provide for their needs.”

Library resources particularly popular with teens include:
• Free, online live tutoring
• Learning and research databases/apps
• Free Wi-fi, laptop check-outs & free printing up to 5 pages per day
• eBooks, Streaming Music & Films
• Comfortable seating for group work
• Reading recommendations by library staff for manga, comics, and novels

What’s in the works for the near future? Additional programs that work to destigmatize mental health challenges and promote resiliency, Saturday teen sewing circles, a teen volunteering program and more.

For questions regarding Teen Services, call Heather Cummins at (510) 981-6124.

For questions about Library events, services, hours and locations, please call (510) 981-6100 or visit the Library’s website www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.

Masking is strongly encouraged at outdoor programs and required for entry into library locations. Events are wheelchair accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for library events, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY) at least five working days in advance to help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs.

Thank you to the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library for their generous support of library programs. Thank you to the Berkeley Public Library Foundation for their support that helped make the new teen room at Central possible.