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²gether NHS Foundation Trust (²gether) and Herefordshire County Libraries are backing a national initiative aimed at helping people to understand common mental health problems – and are working together to make sure that the self-help books are easily accessible to all.

The Books on Prescription scheme includes a number of books which provide guidance for people with stress, anxiety and depression.

Launched on World Book Day (5 March, 2015), the recommended self help books will now be highlighted on posters across the county and more easily identified by a sticker on the relevant books’ front cover. The stickers include details on how to contact Let’s Talk, the county’s local NHS talking therapy service, for people who may need additional support.

Elaine Davies, Clinical Lead for ²gether’s Let’s Talk service, said: “We’re delighted to have teamed up with Herefordshire’s Library Service. In addition to the free courses and help we offer, providing easy access to recommended books can help to provide additional guidance and support to help manage low mood and anxiety.

The reading list is recommended by Herefordshire’s local NHS including therapists working within ²gether’s Let’s Talk Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service, as well as family GPs and other health professionals including psychologists and psychiatrists. All of Herefordshire’s public libraries stock the books.

Anne-Marie Dossett, Librarian at Hereford library said: “The Books on Prescription scheme has been going for some years and we get many positive comments about how informative and helpful the books can be.  We have also expanded the collection to include books about dementia at Hereford Ross and Leominster libraries”. 

Elaine continued: “One in four people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health condition over the course of a year. Our aim to provide people with the help they need quickly. That is why this is such an important partnership for our county.”

Books are available at all public libraries in Herefordshire.

More details about the Books on prescription scheme can be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/bop

Let’s Talk can be contacted by telephone on 0800 073 2200 or by visiting the course booking website at www.²gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter