Skip navigation to main content

Reading Well

Written by Lizzie Cain, 5th February 2013

Last week, The Reading Agency announced the launch of a new Reading Well: Books on Prescription Scheme with the Society of Chief Librarians in England. The scheme aims to bring the healing benefits of books to the 6 million people with anxiety and depression, and has brought considerable attention to the power of reading to improve wellbeing, something we're certainly no strangers to here at The Reader Organisation.

Cup of tea and a storyThe Books on Prescription scheme builds on the existing successes of local English schemes and a national Welsh programme, enabling GPs and mental health professionals  to prescribe cognitive behavioural therapy to those with mild or moderate mental health conditions through a list of 30 books available in libraries. However, the scheme will be coming under a 'Reading Well' banner for the first time, also encouraging people to read novels and poetry and join a reading group, to help them feel better.

The Department of Health, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of General Practitioners have all given their backing to the scheme which will run in parallel with The Reading Agency's Mood Boosting Books initiative and has featured in newspapers, on the radio and on television over the last few days.

One such article, by Lynsey Hanley on The Guardian's Comment is Free site, discusses the therapeutic benefits of reading and sharing literature, and features the story of our very own Jane Davis; books saved her life at a young age and she founded The Reader Organisation to bring the benefits of reading to those who need it most. Click here to read the full Guardian article.

The Books on Prescription Scheme is being rolled out across GP surgeries and libraries in May. Meanwhile, if you're interested in joining one of our Get Into Reading groups, then you can find a list of open groups on our website.

2 thoughts on “Reading Well

Colin Mac says:

It’s a great idea but in addition to self-help titles such as The Feeling Good Handbook, How to Stop Worrying and Overcoming Anger and Irritability, let’s hope there is some good literature and poetry on the GPs’ prescriptions too!
I can think of many novels and poems that make me feel good, stop me worrying, help me to overcome anger and make me less irritable.

[…] There was more press coverage of shared reading, this time in The Guardian as journalist Lynsey Hanley spoke about our work alongside her own experiences of finding support in fiction. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.