GUEST COLUMN: Books to help with mental health on offer at libraries, by Coun John Knight

Coun John Knight
Coun John Knight

Inspire is taking part in a national scheme at Nottinghamshire’s libraries to support young people on issues surrounding mental health with expert endorsed books available to borrow for free.

Inspire is delivering some cultural, art, library and learning services on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council since it was launched in April.

Reading Well for Young People is a national scheme, part of the hugely successful Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which will provide 13-to-18 year-olds with high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.

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 your local library.

Mental health and wellbeing is a topical subject locally as Nottinghamshire Youth Parliament representatives discussed a number of topics affecting young people including mental health issues when they took part in the annual Make Your Mark campaign at the House of Commons last year.

Books on Prescription has become a popular scheme over the last few years and we are delighted that there will be some new titles being launched for young people to help them explore issues around mental health and wellbeing.

Reading Well for Young People has a recommended reading list of 35 books were 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, from hugely influential novels The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and Quiet the Mind by Matthew Johnstone.

The scheme is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians. It is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust. It is supported by a range of health organisations including NHS England (IAPT), Public Health England, Mental Health Foundation, Mind and YoungMinds.