To mark World Mental Health Day (10 October), we’re sharing a new evaluation report which shows that Reading Well Books on Prescription has played an important role in helping people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing.
Half a million people have borrowed titles from the list in the last two years. There has also been a huge increase in library loans of the books. Those on the mental health list have almost doubled, while those on the dementia list have quadrupled.
Some of the most popular titles include The Worry Cure: Stop Worrying and Start Living by Robert Leahy, Overcoming Depression and Low Mood by Chris Williams and The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis and Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman.
You can now find the Reading Well books in almost all (97%) of public libraries in England, where they can be borrowed for free.
Ninety percent of people who borrowed a book from the Reading Well Books on Prescription common mental health conditions list say it has been helpful, while 85 percent say that reading the books made them feel more confident about managing their symptoms. Over half feel that it has helped reduce their symptoms.
When it comes to the dementia scheme, 92 percent of people have found it helpful. 79 percent of carers of people with dementia and 73 percent of people with dementia say that the books have helped them understand more about the condition.
“I’d got some control back”
Carole Speakman from Leicestershire borrowed Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic by Chris Williams from her local library.
She says: “It was really useful to take the book home and work on it in my own time. The fact that it got me doing some of the exploration and understanding work made me feel as if I’d got some control back. I found myself looking forward to reading it. The library staff were wonderful. Whilst I was there, I mentioned I was in the dark ages with my computer skills. The librarian signed me up to classes there and then.”
Find out more
Read the full evaluation report.
Have you read any of the Reading Well Books on Prescription titles? Let us know what you thought.