Efforts to help people understand the nature of mental health difficulties and of the services available to assist them are crucial aspects of modern efforts within the professional community. Though increasing numbers of people are beginning to accept mental issues as health difficulties and are relying less on social prejudice and stigma, such blocks to understanding are still prevalent in much of the world, and may contribute to the prolonged suffering of clients and their families. A great number of efforts have been made to illustrate mental health and related issues to the public, but on Wednesday, an illustration of a much more straightforward sort was announced. The launch of The Road to God Knows, a graphic novel by Von Allan, is taking place both on and offline to provide a range of formats and accessibility for those interested in the subject.
Raised by a mother who suffered from schizophrenia and often finding himself without context or reason with which to understand his mother’s behavior, Von Allan has incorporated his life experience into the graphic novel, which seeks to help explain mental health difficulties to readers. The comic-like format is likely to interest a younger crowd, and may perhaps appeal to those uninterested in learning about mental illness from traditional non-fiction manuals or textbooks. The Road to God Knows will be carried in a number of comic shops, and can also be purchased online, though readers can download and share freely-distributed copies of the work in PDF format, a measure Von Allan hopes will help his graphic novel reach a wider audience.
An unusual yet promising approach to encouraging greater understanding of important issues in mental health, The Road to God Knows may prove a valuable if unexpected asset to the international mental health community.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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