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Reading Well Books on Prescription

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The Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme (delivered by The Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians with funding from Arts Council England) helps people manage their own health and wellbeing through recommended self-help books.

The scheme is available throughout St Helens' libraries and offers a range of expertly endorsed self-help books, which have proven value in helping people with common mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, anger and panic attacks.

Research has shown that books can work well either on their own or in conjunction with other forms of treatment. Download the full list of books available through the scheme.


Mood-boosting Books

Reading Well Mood-boosting Books is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are all recommended by readers and reading groups.

Click here for a selection of titles available from St Helens Library Service

Or download the full list from the Mood-boosting Books scheme

Reading Well for Children

The Reading Well for Children book list supports the mental health and wellbeing of children aged 7–11, providing children and their families and carers with information, advice and support for coping with feelings and worries, daily life and getting through a tough time.

The books have been chosen and endorsed by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families. The book selection panel included colleagues from public libraries, NHS England, Mind, the Royal College of GPs, and the School Library Association.

Book collections are held at Eccleston, Newton-le-Willows and Rainhill libraries, along with some titles available for free from our ebook service, BorrowBox. They are also available to reserve at any of our other branch libraries for a small fee. Download the full list of books available through the Reading Well for Children scheme.

Dementia scheme

All St Helens libraries also offer the Reading Well Books on Prescription to those with dementia, their carers or to people who want to find out a bit more about the condition or who are worried about symptoms. The scheme includes a range of books providing information and advice about dementia as well as personal stories. Download the full list of books available through the dementia scheme.

Young people's scheme

All St Helens libraries now offer a Books on Prescription Scheme for 13-18-year-olds, which includes a range of books offering high-quality information, support and advice on mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm and difficult life pressures such as bullying and exams. Download the full list of books available through the young people's scheme.

Long-term conditions

All St Helens libraries also offer the Reading Well Books on Prescription for long-term conditions. These books provide information and support for people living with a long-term health condition and their carers. The book list covers general advice and information about living with a long-term condition, common symptoms and titles focused on specific conditions such as arthritis, bowel conditions, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Download the full list of books available through the long-term conditions scheme.

How do I access the schemes?

Your GP or health professional may prescribe a book for you or you can loan it free of charge from your local library.

Please note: in order to borrow a book from the library, you will need to be a member. It's free to join; all you need to do is complete the membership form and take it along to your local library. You will need to provide one form of ID to complete the membership. If you're under 16, you will need your parent or carer to complete some of the form for you.