About the Reading in Mind scheme

The Reading in Mind scheme offers an additional resource for managing and treating mild to moderate mental health issues through providing recommended books on a range of mental health and wellbeing topics.

In 2016, Pegasus Health, the Christchurch City Libraries and the Mental Health Education Resource Centre (MHERC) decided to work in collaboration to develop Reading in Mind to better support people in our community experiencing poor mental health. Reading in Mind also provides health care and community service providers with an additional resource to offer their patients and clients.

The Reading in Mind scheme is based on similar schemes that have been running successfully in the United Kingdom since 2003 and also on the WellSouth Primary Health Network’s Books on Prescription Scheme in Otago and Southland.

Reading in Mind books, e-books, DVDs and CDs are available in Christchurch City Libraries, MHERC’s library, and in some of the rural Canterbury libraries in the Waimakariri, Selwyn and Hurunui districts.

How it works

You can learn about Reading in Mind through a variety of ways – by visiting your general practitioner, at your local library, at MHERC or another community-based health service, or through a friend or family/whānau member who knows about the book scheme. You can also learn about Reading in Mind on the Pegasus Health website and on its page on Canterbury DHB’s HealthInfo website.

Reading in Mind provides lists of recommended books to support and help people better manage their mental health and wellbeing. Books are provided on particular mental health conditions and other areas that support mental health and wellbeing. Books on these topics are also recommended for children and youth, and parents and caregivers of young people.

You can follow the link to the library catalogue to learn if a book is available and where it is held. Books can be reserved online and checked out by visiting a Christchurch City Library or MHERC. If a book is not available, a librarian may be able to suggest another book or one can place a hold on a book.

To borrow or place a hold on a book, you must be a member of the library. MHERC can post books and other resources out to its users, including those living in rural areas, and will include a post-paid bag for returning books. Once read, books need to be returned to the library.

You may want to share their thoughts on Reading in Mind books with their general practitioner or other health care provider. Pegasus welcomes and encourages feedback on the recommended books, which can be sent to the Reading in Mind Book Scheme Manager using the Feedback Form below.

The book list will be reviewed and updated every year so that new books are included. During the review, the Reading in Mind book scheme manager will consider feedback from readers. They will also consider feedback from health professionals and librarians.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is Reading in Mind for?
The scheme is available to anyone – people of all ages and backgrounds – who may be experiencing poor mental health or want to learn more about a particular mental health condition. It is also for people wanting to support the mental health and wellbeing of family/whānau or friends.

Is reading a book really helpful?
There is a lot of evidence that books can be helpful for people who are experiencing poor mental health or wellbeing. However, reading a book will not be helpful to everyone.

Is Reading in Mind confidential?
Yes, as library book borrower details and the books checked out is confidential information. If you do not feel comfortable borrowing a book yourself, you could ask a friend or family/whānau member to get it for you. Also, all feedback provided to the Book Scheme Manager is confidential.

Are there recommended books in languages other than English?
Currently, Reading in Mind does not have recommended books in languages other than English. The project team wants to include books in other languages and understands that there are people in our community experiencing poor mental health that do not speak or read English. If you have a book in another language to recommend, please contact the Book Scheme Manager using the Feedback Form below. We continue to work to find books in other languages to include in Reading in Mind.

What mental health issues are included in the Reading in Mind recommended books?
There are many mental health conditions and areas of mental health and wellbeing covered in the book scheme. The books are provided by the condition or area that they are about. Some books may be included in more than one condition or area.

How are the Reading in Mind recommended books selected?
Books on the Reading in Mind books are recommended by mental health professionals and mental health service providers, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, the Christchurch City Libraries and MHERC. Some books are recommended by other, similar book schemes provided within New Zealand and internationally.

How are the Reading in Mind recommended books kept current?
The recommended books are reviewed by the project team and updated annually, with newly recommended books added and unpopular books removed. Feedback on the books from readers, health professionals and librarians is considered in the review. The mental health conditions and areas of mental health and wellbeing covered is reviewed and updated.

Who can promote Reading in Mind?
Anyone can promote Reading in Mind! You can download and print off the promotional poster in:

You can also ask for a poster to be sent to you by using the Feedback Form below or by contacting the Book Scheme Manager.

Feedback Form

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