This is a strategy which expresses the public library contribution to the positive health and well-being of local communities.

As with the Universal Reading Offer it includes a commitment to provide a range of services including public health information and promotion, sign posting and referrals as well as  creative and social reading activity.

In 2013 as a programme within  the Health Offer, SCL and TRA launched the Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme. This is a national programme endorsed by key health professionals and organisations and, within the first six months of the programme, is already being delivered across 87% of public library authorities.

This offer has been developed in partnership with The Reading Agency.

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Reading Well Books on Prescription

Case Study: Using the reach of libraries to secure better public health

Reading Well Books on Prescription helps people manage their mental health and well-being by providing accredited self-help reading through public libraries. Books can be prescribed by GPs or other health professionals but are also available on self-referral for anyone to borrow. There are book lists available for common mental health conditions and dementia, and a young people’s mental health list is being developed.

The scheme, launched in June 2013, works because it brings together a quality assured book list that is endorsed by health bodies and can be trusted by health professionals, with the unique ability of libraries to reach a wide range of people, encouraging self-management and early intervention.

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