The Reading in Mind book scheme provides a resource to support people experiencing low-to-moderate mental health issues to better manage their mental health and wellbeing through the reading of books – ‘biblio-therapy’. Reading in Mind also provides health care and community service providers with an additional, non-clinical resource to offer their patients and clients.
In 2015, Reading in Mind was developed as an initiative between Pegasus Health, Christchurch City Libraries and MHERC. It is based on similar schemes, like Reading Well that has been running successfully in the United Kingdom since 2003, and also on WellSouth Primary Health Network’s Books on Prescription programme in Otago and Southland.
How it works
The Reading in Mind website provides lists of selected reviewed and/or recommended books, and other resources, on mental health conditions and wellbeing topics. Selections of books are also provided on these topics for children, young people and parents and caregivers.
A link to the library catalogue where the book (and other resource) is held is provided for each book. Books can be reserved online and checked out by visiting the library. If a book is not available, the librarian may be able to suggest another book or a hold can be placed on a book. MHERC can post books and other resources out to its users, including people living in rural areas, and will include a pre-paid post bag for returning books. One must be a member of the library to borrow or place a hold on a book. Once the book is read, it must be returned to the library.
One can learn about Reading in Mind through a variety of ways: at a Canterbury general practice, local library, MHERC or another community-based health service, or through friends or family members who are familiar with the book scheme. One can also learn about Reading in Mind on Pegasus’ website and on its page on Canterbury DHB’s health Info website.
Users of Reading in Mind may want to discuss the book read with their general practitioner, health care provider, or librarian. Reading in Mind also welcomes feedback on books and the website via the Feedback Form below or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 alot 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.