About Jan Stewart

Jan Stewart is a highly regarded mental health governance expert and advocate. Her memoir Hold on Tight: A Parent’s Journey Raising Children with Mental Illness tells the raw and emotional story of her two children and imparts invaluable insights and advice from her lived experiences.

Meet The Author

The Latest Release


Hold on Tight: A Parent’s Journey Raising Children with Mental Illness describes Jan Stewart’s raw and emotional journey raising two children with multiple, complex mental health disorders.

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What Readers Say

Reviews From Around The World

Honest and Insightful

“Much has been written for the public about mental illness in the last two decades. A small, but growing literature, has also seen descriptions from the patients’ perspectives. But there has been almost nothing about the experiences of parents of children growing up with severe mental illnesses.

Jan Stewart has capably filled that void by describing the roller-coaster lives of a family raising and living with two children with severe mental illness. It is an honest and insightful account that will inform families going through such challenges. This book will be of great interest to all who care about this critical issue.”

Paul Garfinkel, O.C., M.D., FRCP, FRSC,
Inaugural Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

“I laughed.  I cried.  Anyone with a child who has a mental illness or developmental disability should read this book and learn that they are not alone in the challenges they face.”


Susan VanDeVelde-Coke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kerry’s Place Autism Services

“Jan Stewart has written a very important and thoughtful book that will help parents of special needs children in particular (I know, I was one) but would be important for all parents to better understand children with special needs.”

Jamie Anderson, C.M., Past Chair, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and CAMH Foundation