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New Reading Well for teens booklist

We are delighted to announce our new Reading Well for teens scheme. Developed as a refresh to our 2016 Reading Well for young people “Shelf Help” scheme and to support young people in a post-pandemic context, the new scheme launches across England and Wales on World Mental Health Day 2022 (10 October).

Young people’s mental health has never been more pressing. An estimated three children and young people in every classroom (or 1 in 8 overall) has a diagnosable mental health condition (1). The covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation with 4 in 5 young people reporting it made their mental health worse (2).

Developed by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected and delivered through public libraries, Reading Well for teens supports the mental health and wellbeing of teens, providing information, advice and support to better understand their feelings, handle difficult experiences and boost confidence.

Working with health experts, librarians, our co-production partner, Partnership for Young London, and a diverse group of teens from across England and Wales the scheme has been developed to speak to the needs of young people and reflect the challenges they currently face.

Our book selection panel included representation from the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society, NHS England, Mind, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, public libraries and the School Library Association.

The booklist is targeted at teenagers (13-18) and includes self-help techniques, personal stories, graphic books, fiction and a selection of supporting digital resources. The list includes a range of topics including managing feelings, neurodiversity, body image, bereavement, social anxiety, learning about life, boosting confidence, surviving online, and sexuality, gender identity and mental health.

Over 3 million Reading Well books have been borrowed from libraries since 2013. The programme has been supported by the public as well as by GPs, mental health professionals and government ministers as a helpful community-based health service. It has also delivered significant patient benefit; in a recent survey, 100% of young people would recommend their Reading Well book for support with dealing with difficult feelings and experiences (3).

Get involved:
- View a detailed overview of the titles on the Reading Well for teens booklist
- Visit our shop to order materials
- Find out how to get involved in the Reading Well scheme
- Browse our other Reading Well booklists

1. NHS Digital (2018) Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 2017 Summary.pdf. NB// although specific to England this data is used across Wales when looking at Children and Young People’s mental health.
2. IPPO (2021) The importance of joy and trust: how to construct a post-COVID future that works for young people
3. Wavehill (2019) Reading Well Books on Prescription Evaluation

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