Today a lovely thing is happening. I’m going to be at the launch of The Reading Agency’s Reading Well for Young People, because BOTH Blame My Brain and The Teenage Guide to Stress have been selected for this very special list of books! I’m proud about this because I completely believe that reading can help us be well; that’s why I write the way I do and about the topics I do.
The scheme means that all the books on the list will be available in 97% of (English) public library authorities.
That’s if they haven’t closed the libraries down. Politicians, STOP DOING THIS! Public libraries offer vital support for adolescent mental health. As the Reading Agency says, “Evidence shows that people see their library as a safe, trusted and non-stigmatised place to go for health information.”
Yes, so, information is “available on the internet”, as library detractors keep blindly pointing out, but a book offers more than “information” and a library offers more than books.
Reading Well for adults has been in place since 2013 but now, quite rightly, it’s extending to young people. You can see all the details and background here.
Just look at the results in the first two years of the adult scheme: “In a very successful first two years, the scheme has reached 445,000 people. Library issues of titles on the adult mental health list have increased by 97% while those on the dementia list have increased by 346%. It has been endorsed by the public as well as by GPs, mental health professionals and government ministers as a helpful community-based health service. Ninety percent of those who have borrowed a book from the mental health list say it has been helpful, while 85% say that reading the books have made them feel more confident about managing their symptoms.” Superb!
The booklist of 35 titles will give young people aged 13 to 18 advice, information and support around common mental health conditions. Including stress, which although it’s not a mental health conditions can lead to both mental and physical illnesses.
You know how strongly I believe that reading is a brilliant – and evidence-based – way to wellbeing. So I’m beyond proud and excited that my two relevant books have both been picked for this list.
Bibliotherapy in action! Readaxation rocks!
PS Politicians, remember what I said about libraries. Protect them: they keep us well in mind and body.