COLUMBUS, Ohio — A central Ohio author and children's advocate said she sees an unaddressed mental health crisis among children.
Cathy Studer's first book "Broken to Beautifully Whole" documented her own healing and recovery from childhood abuse trauma. Now, she's writing a series of books designed to teach children the attributes needed to deal with life's pain in a healthy way.
"All children are going to endure hurts, pain, and sadly trauma," Studer said. "So the point of these books is to help our children build stronger mental and emotional health."
Studer used animal characters in her book to make their struggles more relatable to children. The two main characters, Gus the Gorilla and Pasha the Panda help other animal characters with one specific problem in each book, showing them how to use the six healing attributes that Cathy herself used in overcoming her own child abuse trauma: perspective, resilience, gratitude, faith, self-compassion and forgiveness.
The animal characters can be purchased in plushie form along with the books. Studer said that play stimulates and accelerates learning in children.
"If we can get these books in the hands of children, in the hands of adults that work with children, and do so while the brain is the most malleable, we can make a difference," Studer said.
Studer's goal is to have her book series added to elementary classrooms around Central Ohio as teaching tools to help kids improve their mental health. The series is pediatrician endorsed and will be available early next year.
To read more about Studer's work, click here.