Review of Fundamentals by Lynn Crilly

Reviewed by:  Mojomums Reviewer Svilena


What they say:  ‘Self-esteem’ is one of those phrases that’s been overused to the point of losing all meaning, yet it’s essential to every human being’s development and happiness.
In what can be an incredibly toxic and frightening modern culture, young people in particular are struggling to gain some vestige of self-esteem and are subsequently battling myriad mental and physical health issues. Parents, teachers and carers want to help but often struggle to know quite what they can do.

DA-DAAA! Enter this book: a self-help book for people who are fed up with being patronised by self-help books. This guide will give you pragmatic, relevant advice on how to nurture self-esteem and discuss and deal with mental health issues, delivered with positivity, humour and realism.

Although touching on specific issues such as self-harm, eating disorders and anxiety, this is more generally geared towards instilling confidence and promoting a positive state of mind.

What we say:  “This book was written by two women who seem to be rather different in character, yet work together to deliver talks about mental health issues and self-esteem to children and teenagers around the UK. Both authors have personal experience with eating disorders, with Lynn Crilly’s daughter suffering from anorexia nervosa and Natasha Devon having suffered from an eating disorder herself. So, unsurprisingly, the book was generally written with kindness and compassion by both of them. Unfortunately, this may be the only good thing I will say about this book.

In Natasha Devon’s sections there was a fair amount of swearing, which I found inappropriate and unnecessary – and this is coming from a person who does not have an aversion to swearing in the slightest! Throughout the book there were symptoms lists of various mental health illnesses, which would not be my idea of describing a disorder in detail – not helped by the fact that there was a misspelling of one of the very few medical words used. In addition, I was rather unpleasantly surprised by Natasha Devon’s several sneaked-in anti-Tory statements – I found these to be highly inappropriate for a book of this kind.

Overall, I would say the messages of this book were – there is a high prevalence of mental health disorders amongst teenagers, we are not doing enough to help them and more needs to be done by parents and schools. Would I be any wiser about how to manage them after reading this book? I am finding that the answer would be no. As a parent and healthcare professional, I have not found this book to be a useful “guide”. However, for someone completely inexperienced in this field, and who has not done even the most basic research on mental health, this book contains the basics – albeit interspersed with swear words and anti-coalition government sentiments. Overall, I would have to say that I do not recommend this book for people seeking to gain further insight into mental health problems amongst young people.”


Fundamentals by Lynn Crilly can be purchased at many good book stores or online at


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