Shreveport pediatrician tackles mental health in new book

Local News
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Shreveport pediatrician writes book to help kids tackle mental health issues.

“One of the most alarming trends that I see in my pediatrics practice is the continuing rise of mental health issues among children. It’s not just in my area, it’s a national trend. Anxiety and depression are the very natural results of living in a world where you feel like your success or failure is completely out of your control.”

Dr. Gretchen Petterway’s new children’s book focuses on what she wished she knew as a kid.

“I’m alarmed not only because I want my patients to be healthy and happy, but also because I know how they feel. I’ve struggled most of my life to feel good about myself, but it wasn’t until the last few years, through counseling, I’ve been able to make a positive change.”

In I Am Cool, Mike and JoJo experience fun adventures in a magical park where the creatures don’t look like they “should.” Snails shouldn’t be blue, frogs shouldn’t be red, and eagles shouldn’t be purple. And none of them should talk! But in this world, the “shoulds” don’t matter.

“I have written I Am Cool to help the kids in my practice-and kids worldwide-learn how to cope with differences. It is the first of a series of books that will address some of the most common challenges kids face.”

I Am Cool is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Scribd, Playster, Tolino, 24Symbols, Overdrive, Bibliotheca, Baker & Taylor, and Google Play Books.

“I Am Cool is not just a fun book for kids; it’s a tool for parents and educators to start an honest conversation and let kids know that it’s okay to choose friends who look different or are good at different things and, maybe even more importantly, to be different themselves. The idea is that parents will read the book with their kids, enjoy the adventures, and ask some questions.”

Dr. Petterway is an American Board of Pediatrics certified pediatrician at Christus Pediatric Associates. Her patients and their parents call her Dr. G, Dr. Pepper, or Dr. Gretchen, but her two boys, Dillan and David, just call her Mom. As a “Doc-Mom,” she is passionate about approaching every clinical decision from two perspectives, as a physician and as a parent. Dr. G recognizes that mental and emotional health play a critical role in a child’s physical health. Her goal is to help all kids build a strong foundation for a successful life, one that starts with a healthy self-image. 

“Now more than ever, kids need to learn how to value themselves. A strong and positive self-image, the kind that comes from developing the skills to overcome challenges, goes a long way toward ensuring a healthy, happy life.”

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