INVERCLYDE’S children and young people are being prescribed books by doctors to support their mental health and well-being, thanks to a partnership arrangement between Inverclyde Community Health and Care Partnership and Inverclyde Libraries.
Any young person who is suffering from mild depression, stress, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders, will be offered a "book prescription" by their doctor, which enables them to collect a specially recommended title from their local library.
An approved list of almost 40 titles has been chosen for their quality and include help on issues such as resolving conflict, reducing anxiety, dealing with bullying through being more assertive, low mood, increasing self-esteem, bereavement and loss.
Under the scheme, doctors can prescribe books if they feel a patient will benefit more from self-help advice than conventional forms of medication or as an addition to other treatment. The patient would then take the "prescription" to the library. At the library the books can be borrowed and the person’s details associated with the book loans remaining strictly confidential.
The idea of using the pleasure of reading to providing additional therapy has been viewed as a positive step by patients and doctors.