Aston: Library cheme to help those suffering from mental health conditions

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Libraries across Rotherham will take part in a scheme which will use reading to help residents who suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription project will enable GPs and other health professionals to recommend 30 self-help titles for people to borrow from their local library.

Rotherham Library and Customer Service centre announced they were taking part in the scheme to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10th October.

The service, which launched nationally in early June, is now being put into place in public libraries across Rotherham and will be available in Aston Library and Customer Service Centre, Rawmarsh Library and Customer Service Centre, Mowbray Gardens Library and the Library@Riverside.

The book collections consist of a core list of 30 titles covering issues such as anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, bulimia and sleep problems which have been recommended by readers.

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Rotherham Council, coun Ken Wyatt, said: “Many people have commented that the first step in overcoming their difficulties is understanding them. Self-help books not only help people understand their mental health condition but they give them practical step by step tips to manage it.”

“I fully recommend these excellent titles, not only to the people suffering from anxiety and depression, but also to the family and friends of the people. When people have support from their families and friends it can make a significant difference to their recovery.”

Reading Well Books on Prescription is a joint initiative from independent charity, The Reading Agency, and the Society of Chief Librarians, working with local library services.

The scheme works within National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines which recommend the approach for a range of common mental health disorders.

Public health specialist for mental health, Ruth Fletcher-Brown, said: “We certainly consider this national initiative as enhancing the good work which has already been established in Rotherham.”

“This national scheme comes on the back of an existing scheme which was launched as a partnership project between Rotherham’s mental health services, NHS Rotherham and Rotherham Council back in 2005. It allows patients and non-patients to access a range of mental health self-help books.”

“We were one of the first areas to introduce Books on Prescription and there is still an enormous need for people to be able to access these resources from their local library.”

“The work carried out by Rotherham Primary Care Mental Health Service IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) continues with success to the extent that it has extended beyond books to include other resources like relaxation CDs.”