Reading Well Books on Prescription in Wales

Reading Well supports you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

The books are all recommended by health experts, as well as people living with the conditions covered and their relatives and carers.

You can be recommended a title by a health professional, or you can visit your local library and take a book out yourself.

There are currently two bilingual Reading Well schemes available in Wales: Reading Well for Mental Health and Reading Well for Dementia.

These lists are not part of the Wales scheme yet, but you may find them useful, and most libraries will have these books available for you to borrow:

   

Where can I find the books?

You can borrow the books from your local library. The Welsh Government are supporting The Reading Agency to deliver Reading Well in all 22 library authorities in Wales bilingually in Welsh and English.

You can find the current booklists here:

The Reading Agency are working with the Books Council of Wales to make more titles on the lists available in Welsh.

Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia was launched in Wales in 2018 as part of the new Dementia Action Plan for Wales. The books provide information and advice for people living with dementia, support for living well, advice for relatives and carers, as well as fiction, memoir and photographic books used in reminiscence therapy. They are endorsed by health professionals and can all be found in the local library.

Reading Well Books on Prescription for mental health was launched in Wales in 2019. It provides helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions, or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs.

On World Book Day 2020, the Books Council of Wales held a special event on the topic of reading and mental health at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, in support of Reading Well Books on Prescription in Wales.

A panel comprising writer and editor Bethan Mair; Chief Librarian for Denbighshire, Bethan Hughes; author Angharad Tomos; GP Dr Harri Pritchard; author Sharon Marie Jones, and Manon Elin James from charity Meddwl.org shared their own experiences, and discussed the positive role of reading in helping to support our mental health.

Find out more about the event here.

Impact

So far, Reading Well has reached over 1.2 million people and 90% of people surveyed have found their book helpful.

There is a huge evidence base around the value of reading to support health and wellbeing, as well as the value of public libraries as a non-stigmatised space that is both welcoming and empowering for people seeking support.

Reading Well was recognised by the Royal Society for Public Health as a finalist for the 2017 Public Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.

Partners

Reading Well is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected as part of the Libraries Connected Universal Health Offer, and Society of Chief Librarians Cymru. It is funded by Arts Council England and Welsh Government.

For further information on the launch of the scheme in Wales, read the following Blog.

Read our blog