Reading for health and wellbeing

Reading for health and wellbeing

Reading self-help books can help people with mental health conditions.  The Reading Agency has worked with health professionals to create the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, a list of self-help and guidance books on conditions including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • phobias
  • eating disorder

They have also selected some 'mood-boosting' books as part of the scheme, and this includes uplifting works of fiction, novels and poetry that has been selected by readers.

The Reading Agency has also developed a Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme for people with dementia, carers and health professionals.

There is also a Reading Well booklist for people with long term conditions. This booklist covers specific conditions including diabetes, stroke and asthma, as well as common symptoms including pain and fatigue.

You can see the full list of books available on the Reading Agency website. 

Shelf help for young people 

A Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme is now available for 13 to 18 year olds.  The collection of books provides high-quality information, support and advice on a wide range of mental health issues and pressures such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • eating disorders and self esteem
  • bullying and exams

You can find more details here. 

Find and reserve a book from the scheme

You can order a book for collection from your local library by reserving it online, through our library catalogue

The Sound Doctor

The Sound Doctor provides free access to short films to help you understand and manage the following conditions: dementia, diabetes, back pain, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), weight loss surgery and heart failure. The Sound Doctor can be accessed on a library PC via the following link

To access The Sound Doctor at home, please contact The Sound Doctor team at for further information.

This Sound Doctor is provided in partnership with NHS Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group.