Rocky Books - Mental Health Resource for Kids

by Sheena Vassiliades in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Rocky Books - Mental Health Resource for Kids

Total raised £440

raised so far



Invest in children’s mental health & trauma healing and help us build our catalogue of micro books!

by Sheena Vassiliades in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 24th August 2022 we'd raised £440 with 6 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Rocky Books are micro storybooks that illustrate a traumatic scenario, and then follow up with  appropriate coping mechanisms or exercises prescribed by a qualified psychologist and family therapist that children can learn and use themselves in similar future situations.

Invest in children’s mental health & trauma healing and help us build our catalogue of micro books!



At the end of 2021, we raised enough money to create 4 micro-books on the theme of domestic abuse during the pandemic. We’ve since published these 4 micro-books on our Instagram platform, completely free to access, as well as translated them into 10+ languages. 

Our micro books received a fantastic reception, both from the general public, as well as people and organisations working in children’s mental health spaces. 

We want to keep our momentum going, and build a catalogue of 24 micro-books by January 2023. The themes we aim to address are:

  • Domestic violence 
  • Children’s trauma in displacement/conflict/emergency. For example, what is going on in places like Palestine, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. 
  • Common issues affecting young people like bullying, exploitation, gaslighting.


Here’s where the money will go

Each micro-book costs Rs 25,000 (£260) to illustrate. This number is based on what our illustrator for our 4 pilot micro-books, Arpita, has quoted. Our micro-books are illustrated by highly trained professional children’s book illustrators, and will be of the highest digital and print quality. Basically, the same high quality of any professionally illustrated graphic book you see in a bookshop. The micro-books will also be distributed free of cost to individuals and organisations that need them. Families can read the micro-books together and heal together, therapists can use them in sessions and follow-ups, and organisations and social outreach workers can use them as training tools for staff awareness and education. 

So, one micro-book with a one-time production cost of Rs 25,000 (£260) has the potential to impact thousands of lives. 



At the moment, Sheena and Nida are not receiving a salary for working on Rocky Books. We are putting in several hours a week, the equivalent of a part-time job, working on creating and managing Rocky Books. We write, diagnose, create exercises, work with illustrators, build partnerships, and conduct research.

What we’re currently working on:

  • Creating Rocky Books - Writing & developing appropriate coping exercises
  • Hiring and managing illustration teams of illustrators and colourists
  • Hiring and managing translators
  • Building our website
  • Managing Rocky Books social media
  • Interviewing and conducting surveys with survivors of domestic violence and other forms of trauma
  • Designing and implementing a longitudinal study on the impact of Rocky Books on children’s mental health and wellbeing with an educational sample

We’d love to pay ourselves a £100 stipend each, per month, for the next 6 months. This will take care of our main expenses incurred while running Rocky Books. 



Translating Rocky Books to make them more accessible is a top priority for us! We also want to pay translators for their work, so we get the best translations possible and they get remunerated for their time and effort. 


Corpus Fund 

We also require a corpus fund of around £500 for everyday, organisational expenses. This includes things that organisations need money for, like printing stuff, paying for graphic design needs like a new logo, our website domain, our website maintenance, internet access, Zoom, transport for Rocky Books related events, workshops, or conferences, etc.



Sheena is currently designing a semi-longitudinal study on the impact of Rocky Books on children’s mental health and well-being. The study aims to measure the impact Rocky Books have on the subject's awareness of the particular book's material. Our pilot will be measuring the level of domestic violence awareness on a classroom sample before and after reading & exercising the first 4 Rocky Books. This research will help inform and guide our writing in the future, and also help understand how Rocky Books can make a significant positive impact on families.

We are parallelly developing tailored surveys targeting feedback from children, parents/carers & professional organizations to further guide our creation of future Rocky Books. 



Q: How will kids get access to your micro-books?

A: Our first step will be sharing the micro-books on Instagram, as posts and as reels. With roughly one billion monthly active users, Instagram belongs to the most popular social networks worldwide. The social photo sharing app is especially popular in India and in the United States, which have respectively 180 million and 170 million Instagram users each. In the United States, the number of Instagram users is projected to surpass 120 million MAU in 2023.

We will also have PDF and ebook versions of all micro-books available for download and print. This way, organisations, teachers, parents, social workers, community leaders, babysitters will be able to share Rocky Books with the children in their lives. 

Other digital platforms will follow!

Q: How are little kids going to read and understand the stories?

A: A huge percentage of Instagram’s users are teens and young adults. We want parents, teachers, and older siblings to sit with the children in their lives and read Rocky Books together - like they would with any story book! We also believe that the tools in Rocky Books can be used by adults too. You’re never too old to learn how to heal. 

Q: Are Rocky Books just for kids?

A: We want to create micro-books that deal with issues faced by children as small as 3 years to teens and young adults.

Q: Are Rocky Books only available in English?

A: We definitely want to have them translated into as many languages as possible!

Q: Are Rocky Books only for Indian kids?

A: Nope. We are starting with stories centering Indian families for now because we happen to be Indian. We want to cover as many countries, languages, and cultures as possible.

Q: What about people who don’t have access to the internet?

A: All our micro-books will be available for download and print. This means that NGOs, charities, schools, doctors offices, community centres will be able to download, print, and share Rocky Books!

Q: Why is it called Rocky Books?

A: Rocky is our doggy mascot who wants to teach kids that even though things may be “rocky” at home they’re not alone! “Rocky” is also easy to say in any language :). 

Q: Do Rocky Books only tackle domestic violence issues?

A: Nope! Domestic Violence and its effects are what we are focusing on now as that is the need of the hour due to the global pandemic. We want to tackle many issues that children face that are detrimental to their short term and long term mental health. In fact, Nida initially had the idea for Rocky Books as a response to the international refugee crisis! We can use the Rocky Books model for children affected by displacement, war, natural disaster, bullying, trafficking, substance misuse etc. 

Q: Is this a resource only for girls?

A: Nope! Rocky Books are for all children regardless of gender. We also do not portray the abusers only as men, as anyone of any gender can be an abuser, including women. 



Nida Sheriff, Director of Operations and Stories & Rocky Books Co-Founder


Nida is a writer, producer, consultant & social entrepreneur based in Bangalore, India. Previously Nida was Manager at Chayn India, the regional chapter of CHAYN, and member of CHAYN’s executive team. At CHAYN she managed the launch of, managed partnerships, volunteers, and various projects like the DIY Online Safety Guide and How To Build Your Own Domestic Violence Case Without A Lawyer Toolkit. 

With Chayn India, Nida co-founded SnapCounsellors, an award-winning micro-counselling service pilot on the Snapchat platform. SnapCounsellors was created to offer mental health help to teens on Snapchat, using technology to make mental health counselling more accessible. SnapCounsellors made waves across the globe and was featured in Tech in Asia, Teen Vogue, Bento, Buzzfeed and many more international publications. In 2018, for her work on SnapCounsellors and Chayn India, Nida received a Woman Economic Forum Award for Women of Exceptional Excellence & a Digital Women Award from SheThePeople for Social Impact.

While working in the social tech x domestic violence space, and interacting with survivors of domestic violence and the refugee crisis from around the world, Nida noticed that children were often left out of critical services and tools. Thus, the idea for Rocky Books was born! 


Sheena Vassiliades, Director of Psychology/Advisor & Rocky Books Co-Founder


Sheena is our Psychology Advisor based in London, UK. Sheena has experience as a Functional Family Therapist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Substance Misuse Specialist, Youth and Gangs Worker, and Sexual Health Advisor. 

She is extremely passionate about working with individuals/families that have come to face various difficulties whilst trying to live, including (but not limited to) drug abuse, domestic violence, mental health challenges, gang affiliation, violent sexual behaviour, death. 

Whilst completing her masters in Forensic Psychology, she worked in a high category adult male prison (HMP Pentonville, London UK) delivering 1-1 drug counselling and group therapy. She moved on to work with youth carrying out early intervention and prevention therapy (drug & crime related). Her interest piqued and her skills constantly developing, she began delivering family therapy to whole families as a unit, rather than focusing on adults/youth individually. Having worked with adults, youth and now families with adults, youth and children all in one has opened her eyes to the importance of upbringing and how it affects every person on their journey of survival. 

Recently having a child of her own has further helped Sheena understand how malleable the human mind can be and how very important it is for us to receive support from our earliest days. The lack of which can be detrimental to our basic need to survive. To sum it all up, this is what Sheena does – gently guide her fellow beings over multiple hurdles on our paths of survival. And she loves what she does! 


Arpita Sawant, Rocky Books Pilot Illustrator


Arpita is an independent visual artist, designer and dreamer based out of Mumbai, India. Her design practice involves documenting all that is imaginative, heartfelt, human. As a visual story-teller; the only thing she likes more than reading about eccentric characters and experiences, is drawing them. 

Arpita has also recently had a children’s story book released!


This project offered rewards

£260 or more

Sponsor a Rocky Book!

Thank you for sponsoring a Rocky Book. We will credit your sponsorship by publishing your name on all copies of the Rocky Book you sponsor!

£10 or more

£10 Mini Sponsor

For £10 you can sponsor 2 months of Google Workspace subscription for Rocky Books, or 6 months website domain or maintenance costs, or 1 month of Instagram ad costs to promote Rocky Books on social media.

£25 or more

Sponsor a Page!

For £25 you can sponsor 1 fully illustrated and typeset page of a microbook. Our microbooks are illustrated by professional children's book illustrators.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

£100 will cover 1 month stipend for us that will cover our expenses as founders and help us work on this project stress-free, so we can give it our best. In gratitude for your support, we will name a Rocky Books character after you in our upcoming series (if you consent)!

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