On the 9th of November 2013, my best friend of 36 years tragically lost her 16-year-old daughter Emily to suicide.
Emily was bright, funny and kind. She came from a supportive home, had a mum that loved her to the moon and back and a strong network of like-minded friends who adored her.
While I will never know why Emily felt that suicide was her only option, I do know that we desperately need to make it easier for children and young people to talk about their BIG feelings.
As friends, parents and educators, we tend to place an immense importance on bravery, courage and strength and while these characteristics are certainly vital to a happy and resilient life, It is vital that we also recognise that none of us are all of these things all of the time.
We need to normalise talking about mental health and we need to empower future generations with the capacity and vocabulary to not only know when to ask for help, but also how.
My hope is that the beautiful imagery in the book will make the thought of disclosing a worry or a BIG feeling a little less scary and will help children realise that the love and support that surrounds them is not dependent on them needing to be brave or strong but is a love that shines brighter than the moon and the stars, a love that surrounds them no matter what they are made of.
Imagine a world in which no problem ever seems too big, a world in which no one ever feels bad asking for help or ever feels ashamed of the fact that they don’t look, feel or act like everybody else.
This is the heart of Project Emily and the dream from which Emily and the VERY big Feeling was born.
This book is written in honour of Emily Claire Brady and all the other precious diamonds who have been taken from us far too soon. This book is their voice, this book is their legacy, this book is their wish for those they left behind.
Celeste Cannell – Author, Emily and the VERY big Feeling.
In honour of Emily Claire Brady
10% of every book sold is donated to R U OK? in order to support them to continue to start life-saving conversations.
Ask – Listen – Encourage – Check in.