Today (Saturday October 10) is World Mental Health Day, and Lincolnshire’s library service is taking the opportunity to remind people about its Books on Prescription scheme.
GPs and health professionals can prescribe the expert-endorsed books, which help tackle issues such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and exam stress, but they are also available for anyone else to borrow.
While there are around 6,500 prescribers nationally using the scheme, 73 per cent of people who borrowed a book had ‘self-referred’ by picking up a leaflet, often in their local library.
So far this year, there have been 1,601 loans in Lincolnshire, while the national Books on Prescription scheme in England has revealed it’s reached around 445,000 people in its first two years.
Tarina Jones, Inclusion Services Co-ordinator – Partnerships, said: “We’ve been offering books on prescription in Lincolnshire for a number of years now, with titles for both adults and young people. We also offer books on dementia.
“And by joining the national scheme back in 2013, we complemented our existing service with a nationally-approved set of quality-assured self-help books.
“Recent figures indicate there are around 8 million people in England suffering from anxiety or depression alone, and three quarters of this group may not be receiving any treatment.
“However, there’s a wealth of research indicating that reading self-help books can dramatically improve such conditions.
“And by offering these titles for free in our libraries, we really are bringing effective support closer to those who need it.”