Reading Well - social prescribing for better mental health
Reading Well supports people in their journey towards better mental health by making helpful books recommended by health experts easily accessible to readers of all ages.
About Reading Well:
Each year Reading Well books are borrowed 350,000 times (almost 2.5m book loans since in 2013 and 1.25 million individual users). The aim is to support people to manage their health and wellbeing through the proven power of reading. 89% of borrowers report that the book helped them understand more about their health needs.
During March and April 2021 Reading Well is dramatically expanding: more than 375,000 books have been distributed to 3,600 locations including 3,000 libraries. Every Library in England will be sent 82 books (as well as accompanying digital collections) covering each of the three Reading Well mental health schemes, Reading Well for Children, Young People and Adults. Topics explored include mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy; coping with grief, anxiety, depression, and stress; understanding bullies, body dysmorphia, ADHD, autism, and OCD; and much more.
With libraries closed, publishers have agreed to make titles available for e-lending, ensuring the availability of the most comprehensive range of e-book titles we have ever been able to offer. There will also be a physical book collection for each scheme for every library in an authority for use when libraries re-open.
Find your local library and ask them about Reading Well and how you can get involved or check out the Reading Well website.
How does the programme work?
Health professionals refer patients to their library to discover the booklists - so-called 'social prescribing'. We work with the national public library network, NHS England and the National Academy of Social Prescribing to ensure clinicians are aware about the scheme. Many people also discover these books for themselves, often signposted by our marketing efforts.
Running successfully for eight years, we operate five schemes: Reading Well for mental health, for dementia, for young people, for children and for long term conditions. In Wales the scheme is bilingual.
The Reading Agency:
The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds; our vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life. We help 1.8 million people benefit from reading every year, through our programmes, our tireless campaigning, our excellent networks and our power to influence, challenge and make change happen.
The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England.