Books on Prescription was first developed in Cardiff, Wales by Professor Neil Frude, a Clinical Psychologist.

A national scheme for England, Reading Well Books on Prescription, was launched in England in 2013 and is delivered by the Reading Agency. Our model is significantly based on the research and experience of this initiative modified for the Australian environment and we thank the Reading Agency for their support and assistance.

The NSW Books on Prescription project has been developed by NSW Public Libraries Association, Central West Zone in partnership with the University of Newcastle – Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.

The initiative has been funded by a grant from the Library Council of New South Wales and is being administered by Central West Libraries on behalf of the Central West Zone. It is an Australian pilot.

In partnership with the Public Library Network, GPs and other health professionals prescribe books from a list of high quality, self help manuals selected by experienced mental health practitioners. The prescribed books will be available for loan from the 14 public library services (41 service points) across the region.

These books are also available for anyone to borrow from their local public library.

The aim of the project is to provide resources which deliver reliable information regarding mental illness, promote wellbeing and good mental health and help to build resilience.

Evaluation of the pilot will provide the opportunity to consider bibliotherapy as a state and potentially national health promotion strategy.

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