Reading your way to health in Lancashire’s libraries

Lancaster Library.
Lancaster Library.
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A new scheme giving people access to books to improve their health will be launched in Lancashire’s Libraries in October.

Under the ‘Reading Well Books on Prescription’ programme, 30 self-help books will be available in each library.

These books will be used to help people who are referred by their GP or health professionals to treat a number of conditions such as anxiety, depression or a phobia.

At the three launch events, people will be able to find out more about the scheme.

Details are as follows:

*Colne Library, Friday, October 1, 10am–11.45am

*Lancaster Library, Tuesday, October 15, 2pm–3.45pm

*Chorley Library, Wednesday, October 23, 2pm–3.45pm

‘Reading Well on Prescription’ is a national scheme run by The Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians.

It is supported locally by Lancashire County Council.

County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “This is a good example of how modern libraries can bring real benefits to local communities.

“Life can be tough and illnesses such as stress, anxiety and depression are all too common.

“Techniques shown in these ‘Reading Well Books’ are proved to help and I’m pleased they will now be much more easily accessible.

“It’s worth visiting your local library to find out more about the ‘Reading Well Books on Prescription’ service.” County Council Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, added: “Conditions like panic attacks, sleep problems and bulimia can be dealt with using behaviour techniques and therapies recommend in these books instead of, or in addition to traditional medicines.

“By making the books available in our libraries, we make it easier for doctors and other health professionals to prescribe this type of treatment.

“The books are all recognised by the health profession and meet National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

“This scheme is just one of the ways the county council is working to improve people’s health across Lancashire.”