Shropshire Council

Don't show me this again

Reading Well self-help scheme

The scheme provides accredited reading to help you understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help books available from public libraries and the following book collections have been selected through a rigorous process by a panel of health professionals.

Common symptoms associated with many long term conditions include pain, fatigue, sleep problems and low and anxious feelings.

Reading Well offers practical support to help you live well with a long term condition. The books provide information and advice to help you understand and manage selected conditions and common symptoms. They also tell personal stories and provide practical support for family, friends and carers.

You may be recommended a title by a health professional. Look out for the books in your local library. They are free for anyone to borrow – take one home today.

What's available?

  • Reading Well Books on Prescription for common mental health conditions - The scheme provides self- help reading for adults based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for a range of common mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, phobias and some eating disorders.
  • Reading Well Books on Prescription Dementia - These books are aimed at people living with dementia, people caring for someone living with dementia, or those who want to find out more about the condition.
  • Reading Well Shelf Help for young people - This scheme provides a booklist of 35 titles selected to provide young people aged 13 to 18 years with advice, information and support to help them to understand their mental health and wellbeing. It covers 12 topics and conditions including anxiety, depression, self-harm, body image and eating disorders, as well as life experiences such as bullying. The booklist features self-help and psycho-education material, as well as memoirs, graphic novels and fiction.
  • Reading Well for people with long term conditions - Recommended books that you might find helpful if you have, or are caring for someone with a long term physical health condition. Long term conditions impact on a person’s life and require ongoing care and support. Examples of long term conditions include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

All of the above collections are available in libraries in Shropshire on ‘prescription’ which means they have been recommended by GPs or other health professionals. They are also available for anyone else to read which means that some people may be borrowing a book without having been prescribed it.

You can view the full list of books on prescription on the Reading Well website. We've also attached some leaflets to this page which include recommended reading lists and can be downloaded for future reference.

How can books help?

Some of the recommended books provide helpful information and self-management techniques. There are also personal stories about other people’s experiences
which may help you to understand your own. You can use the books on your own or with the support of a health professional. The health professionals involved in your treatment can also advise you on other help and support available.

How are the books chosen?

The books have all been recommended by health experts and people living with long term conditions. They have been selected using guidelines and quality standards from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) with advice from a range of professional organisations and support from the Coalition for Collaborative Care.

About the scheme

Reading Well has been developed by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians. The programme is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust.