Libraries Week 2020: Reading Well to Improve your Health and Wellbeing

There is an established evidence base on reading to support good mental health & physical wellbeing, and this was the catalyst that led the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Occupational Health Psychology Team to approach The Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland to develop this service for HSC staff. This service was launched in 2018.

The Healthcare Library drew on the experience of The Reading Agency, a national charity that promotes reading as a tool to empower individuals to deal with difficulties and challenges that can arise as a result of circumstances or ill health.  It produces various self-help book lists that can be recommended by healthcare professionals to their patients and the books are usually available to borrow from public libraries.  The Healthcare Library Reading Well Collection is different in that it is provided in an academic / healthcare library setting specifically for health and social care staff.  Books were selected from the two most relevant booklists for individuals who are learning to cope with an illness or long term condition while working, namely: ‘Reading Well for mental health’ and ‘Reading Well for long term conditions’.   These books cover topics such as: stress, anxiety, depression, grief, eating disorders, pain, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, postnatal depression etc. By providing easy access to these resources, it is hoped individual staff can develop skills that will enable them to manage their own illness or condition better, thereby improving their quality of life at both home and work.   The current list of titles are available online.   

Reading Well Collection showing range of books and topics covered.
The Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland Reading Well Collection

Books are available for loan from the Healthcare Library, either by calling in person, or by using the place request option on the library homepage:    Books can be posted to the nearest Healthcare Library for collection, or it may be possible to post to a work address.  Books are issued for 4 weeks and are then renewed automatically unless the book is in demand.  

Please contact the Healthcare Library for more information.  If you are not already a member and would like to borrow some of these books you can register online and join the Library today.

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