Published: October 8, 2013
Doctors in Burnham-On-Sea to start prescribing self-help books

Doctors and other health professionals in Burnham-On-Sea are to begin prescribing self-help books to patients as treatment to improve their mental health.

The new scheme, co-ordinated by Somerset Libraries and the county's Public Health team, enables GPs and others working at the front line of health care to prescribe self-help books.

"This is low cost, early intervention at community level that can make a real difference to people’s lives," county councillor David Hall told

"It's also a great example of two different parts of the council, the library service and Public Health, working together for everyone's benefit."

Libraries in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge will have a core list of more than 30 titles covering issues such as anxiety, depression, phobias, panic attacks, bulimia and sleep problems.

The scheme, called 'Reading Well Books on Prescription', is being launched this week by Somerset Library Service on World Mental Health Day, 10th October.

Louise Finnis, Somerset County Council's Health Promotion Manager, added: "Mental health is something that people all too frequently overlook, but it is just as important as physical health."

"Self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. The scheme we are launching can act as a springboard to help people feel better. We are delighted to be launching Reading Well on World Mental Health Day."

The new scheme aims to help people manage common conditions. For a full list of the books available, click here.

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