Teenagers wanting to understand more about mental health issues are being offered support through a new booklist available at local libraries.
Reading Well for young people is a new national public library scheme to help young people aged 13-18 years to learn more about mental health and wellbeing through reading.
The booklist of 35 titles offers advice, information and support around common mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, stress and eating disorders.
It also includes young adult fiction, exploring many of the issues experienced by young people in their everyday lives, such as bereavement, divorce and separation, and bullying.
Reading Well for young people is available in selected Essex libraries from 14 April. The books can be requested online, at home or in the library.
Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Corporate, Communities and Customers, said: “People’s teenage years can often be a challenging and confusing period full of life-changing events.
“That is why we are very pleased to be supporting the Reading Well scheme which will give young people across the county the opportunity to find out more about some of the pressures they face, and learn about mental health and wellbeing.”
Cllr Brown attended a special event to launch the booklist at Chelmsford Library yesterday (Thursday), which included young people from Moulsham High School reading from some of the fiction titles included in the booklist.
The Reading Well for young people booklist is available at the following libraries across Essex: Basildon, Billericay, Braintree, Brentwood, Canvey, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Greenstead, Harlow, Harwich, Laindon, Loughton, Maldon, North Melbourne, Pitsea, Rayleigh, Saffron Walden, South Woodham Ferrers and Witham.
The scheme is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians. It is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust. It is supported by a range of health organisations including NHS England (IAPT), Public Health England, Mental Health Foundation, Mind and YoungMinds.
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."