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Reading Well for Mental Health launch

26th September 2018

Reading well for metal healthThe Reading Well collection was officially launched at the Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Tuesday 25th September.

Belfast Trust Occupational Health Department is partnering with The Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland to provide HSC staff with access to a selection of books to help individuals understand and manage their health and well-being. There is an established evidence base around the benefits of reading to support good mental health and physical wellbeing. This collection, based on the national scheme, covers topics such as: stress, anxiety, depression, grief, eating disorders, pain, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, postnatal depression etc. The Current list of titles is available in the library or from Occupational Health.

This new venture was welcomed by Jane O’Neill Medical & Healthcare Librarian: “The Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland is delighted to collaborate with Belfast Trust Occupational Health to provide this service. This collaboration is an excellent example of how specialist librarians and healthcare professionals can work together to provide access to high quality evidence-based information to improve patient outcomes”.

The Reading Well collection is located in the Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland, Mulhouse Building, Royal Victoria Hospital. Books can be borrowed for 4 weeks at a time by library members in any Trust. Membership is free to all HSC staff and you can register online here. For more information contact your local branch or Hazel Neale, Specialist Librarian for Social Work & Clinical Psychology.

Speaking about the launch Professor Martin Bradley, Chairperson Belfast Trust bwell Steering Group, said: “One in four of us struggle with our mental health whether it be in relationships, work life, family life or financial concerns. Just as what we eat and how we exercise can improve or maintain our physical health, what we read can also shape how we see and think of ourselves and the world around us. Reading Well has been described as getting a book on prescription, helping people understand and manage their health using quality endorsed reading. Books and reading are not and can never be the only answer but they can be part of the solution. No matter what has you feeling down or after a long and stressful day, getting into the habit of Reading Well can help. Every book has been selected by a rigorous process endorsed by health professionals and driven by feedback from previous readers who have found the books helpful. Give it a try, and if you find it works for you, encourage a colleague or friend to join.”

Dr Dympna Browne Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Occupational Health explained “Reading Well represents an important new strand in our aim to increase access to psychological support for the staff of Belfast Trust. Ultimately it is intended that this scheme will help empower staff in taking an active role in decisions around their health and wellbeing.”