NHS Prescribes Books for Better Health
June 25, 2014 8:54 AM   Subscribe

From June 2013, a new scheme, Reading Well Books on Prescription will be available in libraries throughout England. This new scheme has been developed by The Reading Agency and The Society of Chief Librarians and aims to bring reading's healing benefits to the 6 million people with anxiety, depression and other mild to moderate mental health illnesses. There is growing evidence showing that self-help reading can help people with certain mental health conditions get better. Reading Well Books on Prescription will enable GPs and mental health professionals to prescribe patients cognitive behavioural therapy through a visit to the library. Here they can get books to help them understand and manage conditions from depression to chronic pain.
More on the program from the Boston Globe. Previously.
posted by MonkeyToes (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
When I click on the "Read More" at the Reading Well website get page not found errors.
posted by stbalbach at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

The doctor and poet Rafael Campo was on Enright recently discussing this very thing (at 1:24:29). It's worth trying to find the segment (not linked-to specifically on the CBC site, but can be found at the time above) just to hear him read one of Thom Gunn's poems. A very fine interview, a very fine poem, and a very fine reading.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:04 AM on June 25, 2014

I went to a therapist last year for a specific problem I was having and during that time also read a self-help book on the subject. I got a lot out of the $10 book (which I'm still able to refer back to) and very little out of several hundred dollars with the therapist.

Not saying there aren't therapists that are much better than a self help book but I'm betting in many (mild) cases it's just as good to DIY, than to mess around with trying to find a professional who doesn't suck.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:43 AM on June 25, 2014

So these books will be available in the closed local library branches?
posted by srboisvert at 10:46 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

All 3 of my local libraries have a books on prescription display stand now. The books are things like askmefi favourite Feeling Good by David Burns and similar CBT style depression anxiety workbooks.

It is kind of confusing actually because they are 1) placed in random parts of the library where the stand fits - so in my local one it is in the fiction section next to stephen king novels. 2) The stand has a big books on prescription banner that makes it seems like you might need a prescription to take them out even though they are just regular library books anyone can check-out - which seems like it is adding more friction to the process.

Good initiative but it could use some tweaking at the library level.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:23 AM on June 26, 2014

We've had something similar in place in the library where I work (Ireland). Although we call it Healthy Reading, unfortunately after the initial promotion the books don't seem to be getting much use.

Its been in operation around a year or two.
posted by Fence at 10:35 AM on June 26, 2014

« Older The Call Is Coming From Inside The Grave   |   "Robert was supposed to change the lyrics, and he... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments