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Book Scheme to Help Fight Mental Health Issues


Initiated by The Reading Agency a campaign “The Reading Well for Young People” has been set in place that will allow doctors to prescribe from a list of books to help young people deal with mental-health issues and will be available at surgeries and libraries.

The reading agency was launched in 2002. The Reading Agency set about creating new programs and partnerships to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people to become enthusiastic readers. The agency introduced several successful programs like Reading Partners Scheme, Summer reading challenge and Chatterbooks.

In light of the campaign the Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said “Libraries can play a significant role in the health of local communities by providing free access to advice and information for people of all ages. This important new scheme uses libraries, books and reading to reach out to young people to help them manage their mental health and wellbeing, and cope with the pressures of modern life.”

Reading Well for Young People, is a subsect of Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which has reached more than half a million people since it was launched in 2013. A panel of metal health experts and young people have selected a list of 35 books. The list includes a wide range of self-help and information titles, as well as memoir, graphic novels and fiction.


  1. Stuff that Sucks: Accepting what You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can by Ben Sedley (Robinson, Little Brown)
  2. Mind Your Head by James Dawson (Hot Key Books)
  3. The Self-Esteem Team’s Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs!! By The Self-Esteem Team (John Blake Publishing)
  4. Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed by Nicola Morgan (Walker Books)
  5. Quiet the Mind by Matthew Johnstone (Robinson, Little, Brown)
  6. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Walker Books)
  7. Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  8. House of Windows by Alexia Casale (Faber)
  9. Every Day by David Levithan (Electric Monkey, Egmont)
  10. Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking Control of Your ADD or ADHD by Patricia Quinn and Judith Stern (Magination Press, American Psychological Association)
  11. My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic by Michael Tompkins and Katherine Martinez (Magination Press, American Psychological Association)
  12. The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens: CBT Skills to Overcome Fear, Worry and Panic by Jennifer Shannon (New Harbinger Publications, Little, Brown)
  13. The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Jennifer Shannon (New Harbinger Publications, Little Brown)
  14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Simon & Schuster)
  15. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (Sceptre, Hodder)
  16. Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User’s Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  17. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (Vintage)
  18. Teen Life Confidential: Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies by Michele Elliott (Wayland, Hachette Children’s)
  19. Vicious: True Stories by Teens About Bullying Ed. Hope Vanderberg (Free Spirit Publishing)
  20. Banish Your Self-esteem Thief: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Building Positive Self-esteem for Young People by Kate Collins-Donnelly (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  21. Teen Life Confidential: Self-Esteem and Being You by Anita Naik (Wayland, Hachette Children’s)
  22. Face by Benjamin Zephaniah (Bloomsbury)
  23. Am I Depressed and What Can I Do About it? by Shirley Reynolds and Monika Parkinson (Robinson, Little, Brown)
  24. I Had a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone (Robinson, Little, Brown)
  25. Can I Tell You About Depression? by Christopher Dowrick and Susan Martin (Jessica Kingsley)
  26. Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders? By Bryan Lask and Lucy Watson (Jessica Kingsley)
  27. Banish Your Body Image Thief by Kate Collins Donnelly (Jessica Kingsley)
  28. Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield (Walker Books)
  29. Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens by Sheri van Dijk (New Harbinger Publications, Little, Brown)
  30. Touch and Go Joe by Joe Wells (Jessica Kingsley)
  31. Breaking Free from OCD: A CBT Guide for Young People and their Families by Jo Derisley, Isobel Heyman, Sarah Robinson, Cynthia Turner (Jessica Kingsley)
  32. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (Walker Books)
  33. The Truth About Self-harm by Celia Richardson (Mental Health Foundation)
  34. Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens by Earl Hipp (Free Spirit Publishing)
  35. Teenage Guide to Stress by Nicola Morgan (Walker Books)

At present it is estimated that more than 10% of youngsters have a diagnosable mental health issue. Reading Well for Young People will provide support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures, such as bullying and exams.

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