Skip to main content

Reading Well – Books on Prescription

Press Release   •   Jun 24, 2013 11:03 BST

Bury libraries are helping people with mental health problems by launching a Reading Well: Books on Prescription scheme.

Around six million people in the UK suffer from anxiety or depression and three-quarters of them receive no treatment. This scheme is one way of helping people with mental health problems improve their self-care and general well-being.

There are 30 recommended titles to choose from at your local library, covering a range of common mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, bulimia and sleep problems. Experts believe that reading more generally can help to improve a person’s well-being, and hope that people will also turn to novels, poetry and reading groups to help them feel better regularly.

The scheme is being run with NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, and is co-ordinated through The Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians. It is also backed by the Department of Health, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of GPs and works within the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

A council spokesman said: “It's all part of an old concept with a new name, bibliotherapy. D.H. Lawrence wrote that "One sheds one's sickness in books," and research has shown that just six minutes of reading can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds.”

Dr Kiran Patel, chair and clinical lead for NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Books on Prescription are quality assured self-help books designed to complement local health services, supporting patients to understand and manage their condition on a day to day basis. They have a good track record in helping people with a range of common mental health problems. For many, picking up a self-help book will be their first step to recovery, empowering them to take control of their condition while improving their quality of life.”

For further information about the Books on Prescription Scheme see website


Press release issued: 24 June 2013.