Home - ACU (The Australian Catholic University)

Site Navigation

mental illness bookSue Hueston reading 'Bipolar Bears'.

ACU student’s book to help children deal with mental illness

Sue Hueston, a Masters of Education student at ACU’s Canberra Campus, is launching a children’s picture book on bipolar disorder called Bipolar Bears.

Sue wrote the book while studying, teaching part-time and raising a 10-month old baby.

Bipolar Bears tells the story of a family of polar bears. The father bear has an episode of bipolar disorder and goes to hospital. Once he is well, he returns home to be with his family.

The book is designed for children aged between 5 and 10 years of age who have a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder. It aims to give younger children an idea of what it would be like to suffer from the illness and reassure them that support is available. 

Sue’s desire to write a story on mental illness came about after giving birth to her first child in October 2008.

“There is a large gap in the market for literature about mental health for children,” Sue said. “I believe it is important for them to grow up understanding mental illness, especially if it is in the family, and I will read this story to my daughter when she is a little older.”

Part-time lecturer in visual art at ACU’s Canberra campus, Shena Hayden, created the water colour illustrations for Bipolar Bears.

Bipolar Bears is published by The Mental Health Foundation.