Mental Health Awareness Week 14 to 20 May 2018

14 to 20 May 2018 is Mental Health Awareness Week. 16 million people experience mental health problems each year, and stress is a key factor in this. By tackling stress we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Wokingham Borough Libraries support the mental health agenda through book groups, reminiscence sessions and craft workshops to help combat social isolation. To join a book group or attend a group please visit our website or enquire in your local library.

If you cannot get to a library, we provide a free home delivery service for books including large print and audio books. A trained member of staff or volunteer will deliver items to your home to match your reading tastes every 3 weeks at an agreed time. This service is for any resident who can’t visit their library because of ill health, disability or because they are caring for someone. The library website has information on how to apply here.

We also provide services for memory loss and dementia groups in the form of “forget-me-not” collections containing items from social history from the 1940s to the 1970s. Handling the items and discussing them can help trigger memories and spark discussions. The boxes are available to borrow with a yearly subscription of £28.50 and come in a variety of themes. We also have a reminiscence collection of memory joggers, DVDs and specialised puzzles and quizzes.

Wokingham Libraries support the Reading Well schemes to improve health.

  • Reading Well Books on Prescription is a scheme that uses reading to help people who suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety. GPs and other health professionals recommend 30 self-help titles for people to borrow from their local library.


  • Shelf Help is a Reading Well collection of 35 books for young people that have been chosen by health experts and young people themselves. They are designed to help you cope with the pressures of life, boost your confidence, and help you with difficult feelings and experiences. They contain information and advice as well as personal stories about dealing with feelings such as anxiety, depression or stress, or experiences such as bullying. RWYPposterdesign-thumb-300x411-14733[1]As well as these promotions, we have collections of self-help books in each library. Please ask any library staff member for help or visit the online catalogue.





Shelf Help to support young people’s mental health

At a time when 1 in 10 young people have a diagnosable mental health issue, Wokingham Borough libraries are launching a scheme to support them with expert endorsed books available to borrow for free.

shelf helpReading Well for young people is a national scheme, part of the hugely successful Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which will provide 13 to 18 year-olds with high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.

With the proportion young people, especially those between of 15 to 16 year olds reporting that they frequently feel anxious or depressed having doubled in the last 30 years, there is an enormous need for quality assured mental health information and advice for young people. Co-created with a panel of young people who have had experience of mental health issues, the new Reading Well scheme helps young people to understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional resilience. The books can be recommended by GPs, school nurses, counsellors and other health professionals as well as being free to borrow from the library.

We have a variety of resources for young people at our libraries with events such as creative writing and book groups along with books to borrow, free wifi access, study space, e-resources and guidance from the Elevate Hub.  Reading Well for young people’s recommended reading list of 35 books were selected by mental health experts and young people. The list includes a wide range of self-help and information titles, as well as memoir, graphic novels and fiction, from hugely influential novels The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and popular non-fiction such as Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson, Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed by Nicola Morgan and The Self-Esteem Team’s Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! To the self-help guides Banish Your Body Image Thief and Breaking Free from OCD.” All of these books are available to borrow for free from any of our libraries.

COMPOSITE%20IMAGEThe core booklist for Reading Well for young people:

  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 Juno 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)
  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)
  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 13Bby 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)

To borrow these books, check out our catalogue to see if it’s in a library near you: