The NZ-made book helping Kiwi kids with anxiety

With a growing number of Kiwi children being diagnosed with anxiety each year, a Taupo mother has decided it’s time to step up and help the younger generations.

Bex Lipp, who owns publishing company Wilding Books, has together with illustrator Craig Phillips created a book to help kids deal with their emotions.

Ms Lipp has suffered from anxiety for most of her life, as well as depression.

"That lead to self-harm, suicide attempts, and then I was finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder," she says.

It wasn’t until she received the help she needed, that she was able to learn the tools to deal with anxiety.  

"I paired up the tools I learnt with those emotions and that was the basis of the book."

Ms Lipp and Mr Phillips were able to publish the book with the help of a grant from the Mental Health Foundation. It tells the story of a young Maori girl who uses tools such as breathing and exercise to deal with feelings of anxiety.

Ms Lipp came up with the concept and Phillips put it all on paper.

"It was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be," he says.

Mr Phillips usually illustrates graphic novels, so Aroha's Way was a different challenge – one that hit close to home.

"I'm very familiar with anxiety so when I did the words for this book and wrote the poem, it actually sort of flowed out in the course of just one evening," he says.

And when Ms Lipp read the book for the first time, it brought her to tears.

"I just knew this book was going to be wonderful."

They’re hoping it will be used as a tool for teachers and parents to show children how to cope with symptoms of anxiety.

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