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Feel Better with a Book in Essex Libraries


Josie Watson from Essex Libraries tells Reading Groups for Everyone about one of the many reading groups they run:

Feel Better with a Book improves the wellbeing of mental health service users and other vulnerable people in Essex. A trained facilitator reads from imaginative literature (normally short stories and poems). Other group members follow the text and take turns reading as they wish, and at their own pace, and there is opportunity for discussion; however, there is no pressure on anyone to contribute. As time goes on, members spontaneously share their thoughts, experiences and life stories. The scheme has been developed in partnership with Mind, Rethink and Community Mental Health Teams.

Feel Better with a Book builds on a highly successful scheme, Get into Reading, administered by The Reader Organisation since 2001. It has many therapeutic benefits; and many group members have commented on how taking part has increased their self-confidence and helped them develop positive new relationships and friendships.

Feel Better with a Book was established with the aid of funding from NHS South West Essex, with the aim of improving the lives of mental health service users. As one group member commented: " I made new friends, got me reading, gives me more confidence. I feel at ease. I just shut the everyday stresses out."

Check out our Mood Boosting Books promotion aimed at adults, particularly those who might have experienced mild to moderate mental-health conditions linked to stress, anxiety and depression.


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