Reading Well Books on Prescription

What is Reading Well Books on Prescription?

Books on Prescription
Books on Prescription

Self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions, including depression and anxiety. Individuals with mild to moderate mental health conditions often use self-help books as an early intervention or additional treatment.

The Books on Prescription scheme includes a core list of self-help books, which are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help individuals understand and cope with a range of common conditions. Professor Neil Frude, a clinical psychologist, first developed it in Cardiff and there has been a national scheme in Wales since 2005.

For a full list of these self-help books visit the Reading Agency website.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme will be launched in June 2013, as the first national scheme for England and all self-help books and other resources for the scheme will be available in all Kensington and Chelsea libraries.

Reading Well logo
Reading Well logo

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Books on Prescription Launch event

For a chance to know more about the Scheme and an opportunity to meet and network with key health professionals:

  • Wednesday 5 June, 2pm to 4pm
  • Brompton Library
    210 Old Brompton Road
    London SW5 0BS

Which topics does the Books on Prescription scheme cover?

  • anger
  • anxiety
  • binge eating/ Bulimia Nervosa
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic pain
  • depression
  • health anxiety
  • obsessions and ompulsiocns
  • panic
  • phobias
  • relationship problems
  • self-esteem
  • social phobia
  • sleep problems
  • stress
  • worry

How does Reading Well Books on Prescription work?

Books can be recommended by your GP, psychological well-being practitioner or another health professional using the form attached to the user guide – you can find this in your local library or your local GP.

Individuals can then take their book recommendation to the library, where the book can be borrowed for free. If the book is not available, it can be reserved for you free of charge and the library will let you know when it arrives. Free reservations are available in most libraries.

Some people may also use the self-help books independently as a first step in seeking help.

Choosing a book
Choosing a book

What if I am not a library member, can I still borrow a book?

Yes you can. Joining is quick and easy when you go to the library to collect the book.  You will be asked to complete a short membership form and provide one form of identification such as a driver’s licence, passport or bank card.  If you need any assistance to complete the membership form or borrow a book, the library staff will be available to help you.

How long can I borrow a book for?

Books can be borrowed for three weeks and renewed a further four times.

Can books really help?

Research shows that reading improves mental well-being, and reduces stress levels by 67 per cent (Mindlab International, 2009). Also, there is strong evidence from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) that self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

For more information about this research visit the Reading Agency website.

The books provide helpful information and step-by-step self-help techniques for managing common conditions, including depression and anxiety. Although books can sometimes work on their own, research has shown that self-help approaches work best when there is support from a health professional.

The books on the scheme have all been recommended by experts. They have been tried, tested and found to be useful.

Man reading book
Man reading book

What if the book doesn’t help?

If you find that the book you are reading is not helping, you should contact your GP or health professional for further advice.

You can also visit:

How can I tell you what I think of the scheme or the book I borrowed?

We would like to hear from you about your experience with the scheme and the recommended books, as this will help us to improve. You can contact us by email: libraries@rbkc.gov.uk or  for information or questions about the scheme.

Also services available in the libraries include:

Happy 4th birthday to Book Break!

This is a guest blog post by Megg Hewlett, Project Worker for Get Into Reading London. Over the last four years she has established and run the Book Break reading groups in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Book Break logo
Enjoy a book with a cup of a tea!

It’s four years since the first Book Break shared reading groups began in Kensington and Chelsea. Since then we’ve read with people in many settings including libraries, hospitals, mental health services, schools, alcohol and drug services, community centres and workplaces.

Book Break is delivered by The Reader Organisation, an award-winning social enterprise working to connect people with great literature and each other, in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea libraries. There’s more information about Get Into Reading and The Reader Organisation on their website.

The Reader Organisation's logo
The Reader Organisation’s logo

We create places where personal responses to books are freely shared. Our projects allow us to reach a diverse range of people, readers and non readers, extending the individual experience of literature and building strong mutually supportive communities that read together.

“You need it, you just don’t know you need it.”

Book Break groups are stimulating, friendly and non-pressured. They provide stability, support and enjoyment. All texts are read aloud so anyone can get involved – readers and non readers alike.

Enjoying sharing the same story
Enjoying sharing the same story

Groups are led by trained project workers and volunteers, meeting each week to read books and poems together in locations such as care homes, libraries, prisons, mental health centres, community centres, schools, hostels, refugee centres and workplaces. We read aloud, slowly, taking time over each text, allowing thoughts, connections and understanding to emerge.

“It’s not just about reading or getting to know the story. It’s about having our opinions about things as well.”

Members can choose to join in, or not, and at times the reading will stop to allow some talk about parts of the text, discussing what it might mean, or reflect on similar experiences of their own. The effects are subtle, and profound.

“Sometimes you can see different people having different ideas. You take something one way and someone else might take it a different way, and it makes you think. You respect other people’s opinions.”

A relaxed, friendly atmosphere is created in each group. Over time, people build up a confidence that enables them to tell their own stories, as well as to forge close relationships with fellow readers.

Reading along with the story
Reading along with the story

For some readers, this prompts new aspirations, and the searching out of further learning and support that will help rebuild their lives. For others, their reading group is a lifeline, helping to keep them on a more even keel. For all, it is a regular lift each week.

“It sets me up for the week”

Want to join one of our Book Break groups? Full details of when are where the groups meet can be found on the bibliotherapy page on Kensington and Chelsea libraries’ website. You can also contact me on megghewlett@thereader.org.uk

Megg Hewlett 

Project Worker, Get Into Reading London

The Brompton Blog – December 2012

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Welcome to our fourth blog post from Brompton Library!

Reading Aloud

 

A Little Loud book cover
A Little Loud

On Sunday I was preparing supper and listening to Radio 4. This group of Irish poets were reading out their poetry and discussing it amongst themselves. It immediately brought me into their environment, their history and above all, their imagination. I do hope that our display does offer something a little bit different to our reader’s here at Brompton Library.

Katie Collis
Katie Collis

Katie Collis

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Christmas plans at Brompton Library

With only a few days till Christmas you would think that the amount of people using the service would be reducing, but our lovely library is still full of users borrowing books for the Christmas holiday period (including Christmas themed cookbooks, fiction and audio books to curl up with on the cold winter evenings, Christmas themed children’s books and our selection of festive audio CDs and DVDs for all the family). There are also lots of people making use of our computer and study area, completing end of term coursework assignments, booking flights, and exchanging seasonal greetings with friends and family members via social networking sites and email.

So we will be running a full service until Christmas Eve when we will close for three days and open again the day after Boxing Day (27 December).

Brompton Chatterbooks

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

 Chatterbooks is a very popular reading group for children in Brompton Library. It is fun and free. The group focuses on reading and talking about books, but some sessions include word games, quizzes, plays or other book related activities. The children love reading and it is an ideal opportunity for them to enjoy books. The group meets once a month after school on Mondays. There are eight regular members of the group. There is generally a theme for each month. This month the group met on 17 December and the theme was Christmas.

Chatterbooks is an ideal way to promote a love of reading. Sessions are designed to give children confidence in speaking, writing and reading in a group, choosing books for themselves, and talking about what they like to read. It is fabulous to hear them enthusing over their reading and recommending books to other children.

 

Bitter Truths – Author Event

Bitter Truths author event at Brompton
Bitter Truths author event at Brompton

On a bitterly cold evening on 29 November Brompton hosted its first author event (in my living memory, anyway!). One of our reading group members has published her first trilogy of novels, collectively called the Samurai Revival, and gave a very professional presentation relating to the first in the series – Bitter Truths.

We had an audience of ten who were very appreciative and I think for our first venture into author events which was great.

Stephanie Webb
Stephanie Webb

Stephanie Webb

Lending Librarian