Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
GPs to prescribe self-help books for mental health problems
Patients in England with mild to moderate concerns,
including anxiety and panic attacks, will borrow books from local
The Books on Prescription scheme will see
30 self-help titles provided in libraries across England. Photograph: Charles
People in England with mild
to moderate mental health
concerns, including panic attacks, anxiety and depression, are to be prescribed
self-help books which they can borrow from their local library.
Titles such as The Feeling
Good Handbook, How to Stop Worrying and Overcoming Anger and Irritability will
be among the 30 prescription titles that libraries across England
will stock in an attempt to improve the wellbeing of the nation.
The scheme was announced on
Thursday at the British Library and has been developed over the past year by the
Reading Agency charity. Its
chief executive, Miranda McKearney, said of the project: "There is a growing
evidence base that shows that self-help reading can help people with certain
mental health conditions to get better."
She said 6 million people in the UK suffered from anxiety and depression, and
around two thirds of those people were not receiving any treatment.
The Books on Prescription
scheme is being rolled out across GPs' surgeries and libraries in
England in May and is based on a similar scheme in Wales pioneered by the
Cardiff-based clinical psychologist Professor Neil Frude.
Denmark has gone down the same road and Frude said New Zealand had just
become the first country in the southern hemisphere to take it up. "It is wonderful that it's spreading," he said. "I'm a little disappointed it
has taken this long to get to England to be honest."
Frude first set up the
scheme in Cardiff in 2003 and the Welsh assembly took it nationwide in 2005. It
was borne out of frustration at knowing the value of the books, but knowing that
so many people either weren't aware of them or could not get hold of them. It
was a simple idea, he said. "The doctors are already there,
the books are already there and so are the libraries. It just needed joining
In Wales now, 30,000 self-help books are borrowed every year and three of the
10 most borrowed books in the country are self-help. Full article