Book Prescription Wales is a scheme which gives general practitioners (GPs), practice counsellors and members of community mental health teams the option of prescribing professionally selected self-help books on a range of topics, which cover:
- eating disorders
- compulsive disorders
- low self-esteem
- head injuries
- sexual abuse (adult survivors)
The books are available at every local library across Wales and can be borrowed free of charge.
For those experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems, being prescribed a book is a means of introducing a new effective form of psychological treatment, supplementing any existing primary care counselling provision and also extending the potential for psychological treatment to all GP practices, including those in the most rural areas.
Most of the books present a structured Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach, offering complete step-by-step treatment programmes, including exercises, self-assessments and diary sheets.
Many independent studies have demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of high quality self-help books and a review commissioned by the Department of Health concluded that self-help methods have a high potential in mental health treatment
Do I have to be a member of the library?
No, you don't have to be a member of the library, but you can become a member at the same time if you wish.
What if the book is unavailable?
Each library has at least one copy of the book you have been prescribed, but if a copy is unavailable we will obtain it from another library.
Is the service confidential?
Yes. Library staff will not divulge any information about who is borrowing the book or the subject of the book.
Can books really help?
Yes, there is very good evidence that books can help people who have emotional problems. The books on the prescription list have been specially chosen for their quality. Of course, not everyone will be helped in this way and if your difficulty or distress persists then you need to return to your GP or professional worker for further advice.