4 June 2013

Happiness - available off the shelf at your library

Doctors recommend book by Albion's Charlie Oatway

Residents suffering depression, anxiety or phobias can now get help from a new source – their local library.

Brighton & Hove City Council has signed up to a national scheme called Reading Well, Books on Prescription.  This means many of its libraries will have a section of self-help books for people with mild to moderate mental health conditions.

The scheme aims to support GPs and mental health professionals by offering titles which empower people to manage their own mental health and well-being. It also offers ‘mood-boosting’ books, including Albion coach Charlie Oatway’s ‘Tackling Life’ alongside ‘Cider with Rosie’ by Laurie Lee.

Books on Prescription collections are available at Jubilee, Hove, Whitehawk, Patcham, Portslade and Saltdean libraries from June 10th. The titles can be ordered from any Brighton & Hove library and many are also available to download free of charge from www.citylibraries.info. Borrowers will need to be a member of Brighton & Hove Libraries to take out a book or e-book.

Chair of the council’s culture committee Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said:  “This isn’t meant to replace the work of health experts or counsellors but complement it. These are books recommended by health and counselling experts as being helpful to many people in many cases.”

One in four people experience mental health problems and nationally the NHS spends £14 billion pounds on it.  Cllr Bowden added.  “This is part of the council developing its new role in promoting public health – and joining up with our library service to do that.”

Leaflets will be in libraries, GP surgeries and other health service points to assist health professionals in referring patients to libraries. In Brighton & Hove the scheme is supported by Brighton & Hove Integrated Care Service and the Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service,

Reading Well, Books on Prescription is one element of the national Library Universal Health Offer.

The Reading Well, Books on Prescription scheme is launched today (June 4, 2013) at the Medical School of London, hosted by the National Association of Primary Care.

The scheme is delivered by the Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians with funding from Arts Council England www.readingagency.org.uk/readingwell.

Official backers include the Department of Health, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and the British Psychological Society and Mind.

More background here http://readingagency.org.uk/adults/quick-guides/reading-well/