Reading Well; using the power of reading to support mental health

With many of us are struggling with mental wellbeing during these tough times, we’re eager to make sure your local library is a valuable source of support, information and guidance.

There is a growing amount of evidence about the value of reading to support health and wellbeing. In addition we believe people feel libraries are inclusive and welcoming places that can empower them when they’re looking for support.

At Hampshire Libraries we’ve long been champions of the power of reading to offer comfort, solace and advice when we need it most. So we’re delighted to introduce a new collection of books, selected by experts at The Reading Agency, which provide a source of useful advice and encouragement, in an initiative called Reading Well.

The Reading Well collection, which is supported by the government throughout the country, includes more than 80 books, all of which will be available to borrow from Hampshire Libraries’ 40 libraries. Keep a look out for specially labelled Reading Well titles or find and reserve what you want by using our online library catalogue.

You’ll also find ‘digital shelves’ of Reading Well books on our BorrowBox app, which can be reserved and downloaded to your smartphone or tablet.

The collection covers three age ranges: children, young people and adults.

There are more than 30 titles for children including:

Self-esteem and Mental Health by Anna Claybourne which tackles topics such as mental illness, phobias, eating disorders and self-harm.

How are you feeling today? by Molly Potter which is packed with fun, imaginative ways to help children understand and cope with a whole range of different emotions.

The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida, David Mitchell, and Keiko Yoshida. This remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children.

The Truth About Self-Harm: For Young People and Their Friends and Families by Celia Richardson, a booklet about what to do if you are worried about yourself or someone else.

Books in the collection to support adult’s mental wellbeing include:

The CBT Handbook: A comprehensive guide to using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to overcome depression, anxiety and anger by Pamela Myles and Roz Shafran: an easy-to-read general self-help guide by two of the UK’s leading CBT clinicians and researchers.

Defeating Depression: How to use the people in your life to open the door to recovery by Roslyn Law which is based on Interpersonal Psychotherapy, a therapeutic approach adopted by the NHS.

The Essential Guide to Life After Bereavement: Beyond Tomorrow by Judy Carole Kauffmann and Mary Jordan which acts as a supportive map through the initial period of loss, and through the weeks and months that follow.

The Sheldon Short Guide to Phobias and Panic by Professor Kevin Gournay which provides the essential information you need in less than an hour.

The Reading Well initiative is being supported by Hampshire Libraries alongside the Read, Talk, Share project which is designed to tackle loneliness and promote wellbeing.