Poor mental health and well-being costs the NHS £14 billion a year.
Our Reading Well work with libraries consists of two strands: Books on Prescription and Mood-boosting Books.
Reading Well Books on Prescription
On 31 January, with The Society of Chief Librarians we announced plans for a new national Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for England, as a key new development driving the Society of Chief Librarians Public Library Health Offer.
The Books on Prescription model was developed by Professor Neil Frude and has been established as a national scheme in Welsh libraries since 2005. It is also widely available in English library authorities. Reading Well Books on Prescription will build on this existing best practice to deliver a new quality assured shared approach to Books on Prescription delivery in England.
The scheme will be supported by a Reading Well core list of self-help books and will be available through English libraries from June 2013. The books have been recommended by experts. They have been tried and tested and found to be useful by others.
The new scheme is supported by the Royal Colleges of General Practitioners, Nursing and Psychiatrists, the Department of Health through its Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT), the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, The British Psychological Society and Mind.
There is strong evidence from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) that self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, sometimes on its own or with other forms of treatment.
Ordering Reading Well Books on Prescription material
The ordering process for Reading Well Books on Prescription has now ended. However, we have a small amount of material still available. Please email us if you would still like to order materials.
If you're not from a library authority and would like to know more about the scheme, please contact your local library service or email us.
How it will work
GPs and other health professionals can recommend books from the core list. The books will be available from the local library. The self-help books from the list will also be available for anyone to borrow.
The scheme also highlights the availability of other services in local libraries that promote well-being, including mood-boosting novels and poetry, and reading groups
Our Reading Well Mood-boosting Books scheme is a national promotion of uplifting novels, non-fiction and poetry selected by readers.
The books are recommended by readers and reading groups around the country and range from novels and non-fiction to poetry and graphic novels. There are also titles which are suitable for less confident readers. A lecturer in the Mental Health at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham endorsed the 2012 titles.
People will be invited to try a mood-boosting book as part of the 2013 Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme but the books will not be prescribed by medical practitioners and the list is not endorsed by the Department of Health. There will be a new Reading Well Mood-boosting Books list available in June 2013.
"Different poems took me to different places . . . It made me smile and chuckle."
"It made me feel more and more happy as the story unfolded."
Reading Well facts
An article in Journal Plos One (January, 2013) recommends guided self-help books in the treatment of depression.
Research shows that reading improves mental well-being, and reduces stress levels by 67% (Mindlab International, 2009).
Reading also reduces the risk of dementia by 35% (New England Journal of Medicine).
One in six adults struggles to read. The Six Book Challenge builds people’s reading confidence and literacy skills, improving their life chances. While Reading Groups for Everyone celebrates all the good things that happen when people come together to share reading and Mood-boosting Books recommends good reads for people who are anxious or depressed. Because everything changes when we read.