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Tuesday 20th August 2019

Self-help books to be made available on prescription

10th June 2013

A new scheme has been launched which will allow GPs to direct people with conditions such as depression and phobias to self-help books that will be stocked in their local library.

Consulting Room

The Reading Well: Books on prescription scheme will supply books based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which will help people understand and self-manage common mental health conditions.

Dr James Kingsland, the national clinical lead for NHS clinical commissioning, said: "The Reading Well: Books on prescription scheme is brilliant. It will enable me and my fellow GPs to recommend book-based CBT from libraries. This can be a stand-alone treatment or alongside medication and other psychological interventions."

Evidence from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has shown that self-help reading can help people with conditions, such as anxiety and depression. The Reading Agency, one of the organisations behind the new scheme said recent research has shown people see their library as a safe, trusted and non-stigmatised place to go for help with, and information about, health problems.

GPs will be able to prescribe books from participating libraries from today.

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