Reading really is Medicinal

After a pilot scheme in Worcestershire, where 50 patients were prescribed books relevant to their life situation – assisting with treatment for depression, stress, self-esteem issues, anxiety and related conditions – the scheme is being rolled out across Worcestershire. More than 80% of the patients who took part said they would use the service again.

NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommends bibliotherapy for the above conditions. The pilot was run by Worcestershire Primary Care Trust, Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership Trust, Worcestershire County Council Public Library Service and Worcestershire Health Libraries.

I’ve already said previously,

Following a narrator through their romances, problems and screaming at them for making bad decisions (with the comfort that we wouldn’t have done that), is the closest we’re ever going to get to walking in someone else’s shoes. If we can lose ourselves in someone else’s viewpoint, we stand a greater chance of understanding how others behave in the way they do, even if it seems inexplicable to us. That’s the real escapism: chance to be someone else and use their story to make sense of ours.

So, here’s hoping the other Primary Care Trusts sit up and take notice. At least now I have yet another excuse for all my reading: it’s medicinal!


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