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‘Read Well’ supports teenagers’ mental health

‘Reading Well for young people’ is a new national book promotion from The Reading Agency aimed at supporting young people affected by mental health issues such as: anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm; and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.

‘Read Well’ supports teenagers’ mental health
14.05.2016
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Cllr. Ayfer Orhan

Cllr Ayfer Orhan

 

‘Reading Well for young people’ is a new national book promotion from The Reading Agency aimed at supporting young people affected by mental health issues such as: anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm; and difficult life pressures, like bullying and exams.

Enfield Council’s libraries are participating in the promotion and the four flagship libraries: Enfield Town, Edmonton Green, Palmers Green and Ordnance Unity are displaying the books which have been recommended by young people and health professionals. Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection, explained: “Reading Well books offer high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues.

“It is a way of encouraging young people to overcome their issues through reading the books and any young library member in the 13- 18 age group to borrow them.

“We are stocking titles which have been chosen by young people and health professionals and we have set up displays. Information is also available at smaller libraries.

“One in ten young people is diagnosed with a mental health issue which can be helped through reading. The selection includes: novels, self-help memoirs and shared experiences and young people may derive some comfort and genuine help from reading them.”

The proportion of 15-16 year olds reporting that they frequently feel anxious or depressed has doubled in the last 30 years and this scheme answers the need for 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.

‘Reading Well for Young People’ recommends 35 books selected by mental health experts and young people.

The list features hugely influential novels such as: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Popular non-fiction includes: Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson, Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed by Nicola Morgan; The Self-Esteem Team’s self-help guides Banish Your Body Image Thief and Breaking Free from OCD.

Natasha Devon MBE, founder of the Self-Esteem Team, said: “The Self-Esteem Team is asked by young people ‘how do I know who I can trust?’ That’s why Reading Well provides such a crucial role in mental health and wellbeing; it is a much needed, trusted source and therefore a place where young people can feel that most important of all things – safe.”

GPs, school nurses, counsellors and other health professionals can recommend the books which are available for anyone to borrow for free from public libraries.

Gaby, a young adviser from ‘YoungMinds’ who helped select the books on the list, said: “I believe ‘Reading Well’ will challenge stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding mental illness and educate young people about mental health in general.”

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