Rutland Library Service launches Reading Well scheme to help people with mental health issues

Childrens mental health expert Nicola Morgan launches Reading Well for Young People at Oakham Library EMN-160108-113535001
Childrens mental health expert Nicola Morgan launches Reading Well for Young People at Oakham Library EMN-160108-113535001

Rutland Library Service has launched a scheme that offers free expert guidance and support to young people with mental health issues.

Reading Well for young people is a national scheme that will provide 13 to 18 year-olds with high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, as well as difficult life pressures such as bullying and exams.

The proportion of 15 and 16 year olds reporting frequent feelings of anxiety or depression has doubled in the last 30 years, highlighting the need for reliable mental health information and advice for young people.

Co-created with a panel of young people who have had experience of mental health issues, the new Reading Well scheme helps young people to understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional resilience. The books can be recommended by GPs, school nurses, counsellors and other health professionals, as well as being free to borrow from the library. 

Reading Well for Young People’s recommended reading list of 35 books was selected by mental health experts and young people. The list includes a wide range of self-help and information titles, as well as memoir, graphic novels and fiction.

To celebrate the launch of the scheme Oakham Library hosted a special talk by expert Nicola Morgan. Nicola is the author of Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain revealed and The Teenage Guide to Stress, two of the books on the reading list.

Portfolio holder for culture at the council Oliver Hemsley (Con) said: “The Reading Well scheme uses books and libraries to reach out to young people who need help, supporting them to manage their mental health and wellbeing and cope with the pressures of modern life. We can see from library records that young people in Rutland are responding well to the scheme and choosing to borrowing books that promote positive mental health. Children’s health and wellbeing is a priority for the council and we will continue to provide help and support for young people who need it.” 

All four of Rutland’s libraries already stock Reading Well Books on prescription for both mental health and dementia, as well as mood boosting books for adults. These services form part of an extensive collection of health and wellbeing resources designed to support residents and carers, including titles on ADHD, aspergers and autism, giving up smoking, pregnancy, toddler behaviour, and more.

The Reading Well scheme is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust and supported by a range of health organisations and charities. 

For more information visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/libraries