The highly endorsed scheme has announced it’s latest lineup of recommended books curated by mental health experts

Since launching in 2013, the Reading Well scheme has benefitted over 778,000 people across England. Titles recommended are available to borrow, free of charge, across 98% of English libraries.

Aiming to help combat stigma surrounding mental health whilst providing reliable, informative and relatable advice as recommended by mental health experts, the Reading Well for Mental Health 2018 list was announced on 5th June at a flagship event at the Wellcome Trust. Created by the Reading Agency and Society of Chief Librarians, the project offers free, expert-endorsed books to help support people with mental illnesses, mental health needs, and their carers.

This year’s list includes titles from best-selling authors including Ruby Wax, Hatt Haig, Matthew Johnstone, Sathnam Sanghera, and Cathy Rentzenbrink.

Matt Haig said “Reading Well is an absolutely brilliant scheme that recognise the true proven therapeutic power of words. It will help people facing mental struggles to feel understood, and to get help. This scheme will improve, and maybe even save, many lives.”

Co-producing the scheme along with The Reading Agency, Society of Chief Librarians, and health professionals, Katie Clark-Day spoke about the stigma surrounding mental health. “Mental health issues are still shrouded in stigma. They are also by their nature isolating and scary. There is a lot of information contained within these books that could save lives, sometimes just the simple recognition that the way you feel has a name or that other people felt this too. I don’t think we can underestimate the power of this list.”

This year’s list includes book recommendations for:

  • Therapies and approaches: CBT and mindfulness
  • Common feelings and experiences: anger, bereavement, loss, low self-esteem, social anxiety, sleep problems, and stress
  • Self-help books supporting mental health: wellbeing, depression, anxiety, panic, obsession and compulsions
  • Other common conditions: binge eating, body image and body dysmorphic disorder, mood swings, postnatal depression
  • Personal stories: wellbeing, bereavement, depression

Reading Well currently offer four book lists for mental health; dementia; young people; and long-term conditions. Mental health charities, organisations, and professional bodies have shown overwhelming support of the scheme. Supporters include: Anxiety UK, BABCP, British Psychological Society, Carers UK, Health Education England, MHFA England, Mental Health Foundation, Mind, NHS England, NAPC, OCD Action, Public Health England, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal Society of Public Health and Self Management UK.