Read yourself well at Oxfordshire Libraries

An 'absolutely brilliant' reading scheme that could potentially save the lives of people facing mental struggles is under way at Oxfordshire's libraries.

The 2018 Reading Well Campaign features a range of expert-approved books and aims to encourage people with mental health conditions to seek help through the power of reading.

Among those endorsing the project is best-selling author Matt Haig whose book How To Stay Alive is on the reading list.

Mr Haig said: “Reading Well is an absolutely brilliant scheme that recognises the true proven therapeutic power of words. It will help people facing mental struggles to feel understood, and to get help. This scheme will improve, and maybe even save, many lives.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s library service has written to GP surgeries across the region inviting them to encourage patients to take part in the free reading scheme.

Books on offer include those supporting people undergoing talking therapies, as well as guided and unguided self-help.

Carol Stitson, Lead Librarian for Reading Health and Culture at Oxfordshire Libraries, said: “This is a great initiative that sees the library service working with health practitioners to encourage people to use self-help books alongside advice from GPs to improve their wellbeing and improve their situations.

“Mental health conditions are very common and we are pleased to offer our readers this additional tool to support them in difficult times.”

The powerful book list available at the county’s 43 libraries covers myriad issues – from low self-esteem, stress, anxiety and compulsive behaviours to depression. And there are personal stories to savour too including Ruby Wax’s A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

For more information and a full list of the books: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/readingwell