As you guys are probably aware, I am quite the advocate for mental illness as I have had some struggles myself. Unfortunately there is still quite a stigma attached to these conditions, so I'm here today to provide some books recommendations that will hopefully expand your knowledge!
The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom.
So this isn't a novel that is based solely on mental illness, but instead takes the approach of how we all struggle with the concept of time. The reason I suggest this novel is because one of the characters is a teenage girl who can't seem to get through her life fast enough - and that leads her to take some drastic measures.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This was one of the first books I read and reviewed on goodreads, and remains one of my favourite books of all time. This is a novel about depression and a young woman's suicide, and the tapes she leaves behind explaining why - consider it a thirteen part suicide note directed at specific people. I felt like this was such a strong and realistic plot, because when I was deep in my depression I was so angry I wanted to blame everyone. Instead of dealing with my issues I was engrossed in them and wanted people to admit what they did wrong. But that doesn't happen and that's why I feel this is such a good read if you can emphasize with the main character.
Boy21 by Matthew Quick
I'm throwing this one into the list because the main character Russ experiences a trauma, and it has a powerful effect on his mental state. So this novel deals with different things psychologically, but I still believe it is a good read.
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
The protagonist in this novel is a victim. A victim of a school shooting that was caused by her depressed boyfriend and the "hate list" they had created between them. Do I need to say any more? This novel switches between past and present so the reader is able to see the development that caused Nick (the boyfriend and shooter) to feel like he had no other options.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
I did not enjoy this story at all, but I do understand why the author went the direction she did. This is a novel about a girl who gets kidnapped, and eventually falls for her captor. I understand that Stockholm syndrome is a serious thing, HOWEVER this author did not do a good representation of the development. As a writer I would have put more effort into the captor, wanting the reader to fall in love with him so that they would emphasize with the protagonist. This is on the list though because I believe not enough people understand that when in a situation such as this, it is very possible for a victim to have positive feelings such as empathy and sympathy toward their captor.
Serial Killers and Mass Murders by Nigel Cawthorne
I know what you're thinking; Kristina, why would I want to read about serial killers? Because lovely viewer, most serial killers suffer from a mental illness, and that is usually what leads them to commit said crimes. Think back on some school shootings you might have heard about and their gunman: Columbine killers? Both bullied profusely. Virginia Tech? Bullied. Most of the time abused at home and bullied at school, these are people that are depressed and have reached the end of the line. They give up and decide to get revenge and go out with a bang (no pun intended).
And an honourable mention:
The Program duology by Susan Young
This is a duology that deal with depression but it is a dystopian world. In this series when a teenager is diagnosed or assumed to be depressed/suicidal, the government decides they need to be admitted and have their memory wiped. Obviously life doesn't work like that but there were other aspects of this story that I really liked.