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.
The 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.