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The Reading Well Scheme

ESOL , English
Resources , Literacy
Skills for Life Network

A new publication from The Reading Agency, Society of Chief Librarians and several partner organisations outlines the case for using bibliotherapy with patients in the form of the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme.

Books on Prescription: How bibliotherapy can help your patients and save your practice time and money is aimed at primary healthcare professionals and it explains how the Reading Well scheme works, and why it is of great benefit to any practice.

Bibliotherapy is the use of books in the treatment of mental or psychological disorders. In some instances clinical bibliotherapy is implemented by trained helping professionals dealing with significant emotional or behavioural problems, but in most cases it is regarded as a process to achieve health improvement and promote the understanding and management of health and wellbeing without relying on others.

About Reading Well Books on Prescription

Reading Well Books on Prescription provides helpful reading for adults and young people experiencing a variety of health conditions. The programme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by English public libraries. It works by giving GPs and other health professionals a concise and carefully selected list of titles for specific conditions that they can prescribe to their patients. The books can then be borrowed from local libraries across England: 97% of authorities are delivering the scheme

The scheme was launched in 2013 with a list of evidence-based self-help books on adult common mental health conditions. That has been followed with a second list for people with dementia and those caring for them in 2015, and a list for young people with common mental health conditions in 2016.

The new booklet, produced and written by the National Association of Primary Care, outlines in greater detail the evidence-base for bibliotherapy as a model of treatment, how this model fits with the greater emphasis on social prescribing, and the data to show how it has helped a great number of people already. 

Download the leaflet and find out more

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