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There is good evidence from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions, including depression and anxiety.

At Let’s Talk we prescribe self-help books on a daily basis. Reading Well Books on Prescription is a national scheme endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries.

There are currently two book lists available – one for common mental health conditions and one for dementia. A children and young person’s book list is also due to be launched in the near future that will also give advice to carers.

The books work best when used in conjunction with support from a health professional but they can also be used independently, following the advice and sometimes exercises contained within them.

For more details on Books on Prescription visit the Reading Well website at www.reading-well.org.uk.

By Mike Dexter, Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Let’s Talk

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