Mental health self-help book available "on prescription"

Issued: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:54:00 GMT

Photo of Chris Williams holding Living Life to the Full bookProfessor Chris Williams' book "Living Life to the Full: key life skills to change your life" has been added to the important and prestigious National Book Prescription/Reading Well Scheme, joining other titles on the mental health list. GPs across England can now "prescribe" this book to patients with low mood or other mental health conditions and multiple copies will be available in every library in England and Wales.

The Reading Agency, which oversees the Reading Well initiative, says of its innovative scheme:

There is a huge evidence base around the value of reading to support health and wellbeing, as well as the value of libraries as a non-stigmatised space that is both welcoming and empowering for people with mental health problems.

Of the way in which another of Professor Williams' books aided her recovery from severe anxiety, a previous recipient of a "book on prescription" observed:

My GP suggested that I read a book about anxiety from the Reading Well Books on Prescription list - Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic: A Five Areas Approach by Chris Williams. She explained what the book covered and suggested that I give it a try, and that she'd help me alongside it.

When I got my book prescription, I was scared. Recovery is not easy, in fact it's really hard work - but the book and my GP's support has made me accepting of the condition I have, and has given me an understanding of what is happening in my brain. I now feel that I have some coping tools, together with an understanding of what's happened to me.

The scheme aims to use the "therapeutic power of words" to combat mental health stigma and to help people feel less alone and unsupported, and to manage their condition.

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