Portsmouth libraries stock new books to help those battling mental health woes

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LIBRARIES across Portsmouth are being stocked with a host of new books to help those battling mental health problems as part of a new service.

Portsmouth City Council is among the local authorities joining forces with the Reading Agency and Society of Chief Librarians to promote the new list of ‘Reading Well’ for mental health in its libraries.

All the books selected to be part of the new scheme are freely available in the city’s facilities and provide invaluable support to people battling mental health problems.

They also offer advice for carers and family members of those with psychological issues.

Councillor Steve Pitt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport said the council was proud to be supporting the national effort.

He said: ‘Reading is good for mental health as it helps us to relax but this range of new titles have been specially selected because of the support they can offer – I’m delighted that we have them in our libraries for our residents to enjoy.’

The books on the list include Matt Haig’s How to Stay Alive, Sathnam Sanghera’s The Boy with the Topknot, Ruby Wax’s A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled and Cathy Rentzenbrink’s A Manual for Heartache.

Matt Haig said: ‘Reading Well is an absolutely brilliant scheme that recognises the true proven therapeutic power of words. It will help people facing mental struggles to feel understood, and to get help. This scheme will improve, and maybe even save, many lives.’

Since its launch in 2013, the Reading Well programme has impacted the lives of over 778,000 people in the UK.