Dear Shane by Craig Kelly
Dear Shane: A Mental Health Resource about Staying Alive by Craig Kelly
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In what began as a letter to the eponymous friend, Dear Shane: A Mental Health Resource about Staying Alive offers an absorbing account of the author’s suicide attempts and subsequent hospitalization, providing pragmatic hope and a much-needed resource for mental health from the margins. Author Craig Kelly navigates depression and the psychiatric system as he writes about a litany of medications, gender identity, inpatient treatment, and temporary friendships made in the hospital. Dear Shane dispenses a vision of radical mental health to edify readers so that they may better support themselves and others.
“I read this book when I was headed home on a bus last month. I kept stopping to read excerpts to Nick, who sat next to me. It was one of those things that I couldn’t keep to myself. If it was socially acceptable, I would have read the excerpts to everyone on the bus that night.
Dear Shane is a remarkable account of Kelly’s suicide attempts, hospitalization, and gripping battle with depression. I can’t stress how important this book is, not only to people who struggle with similar feelings, but for absolutely anyone. The key to Dear Shane is the only semi-frequent reminder that the author is explicitly not writing to you, the reader, but rather to a friend. It’s a soft reminder that the book is not a cry for help, that the author survived to tell the tale, and that you, the reader, are not the only person who gets it.
Dear Shane is a quick read, not so much in length, but in it’s ability to capture you and push you through its pages so that you know the author is alright. Compelling, heart-wrenching, and a long-awaited eye-opener for those in similar positions, Dear Shane is necessary to a larger conversation of mental health and how it is handled.” – Shannon