03/02/2020 - Permalink

Mental health support initiative for children launched by Shropshire Libraries

Related topics: Children's services / Community / Health / Leisure, culture and heritage

Libraries in Shropshire are to launch new collections of books to support the mental health and wellbeing of children.

Chosen and endorsed by leading health professionals and The Reading Agency, the Reading Well for children titles are intended to provide children and their families and carers with information, advice and support on coping with feelings and worries, daily life, and getting through a tough time.

An image of a graphic promoting the Reading Well for Children booklist that supports children with mental health problems. The scheme has been launcehed in Shropshire by Shropshire Libraries

The Reading Well for children booklist contains 33 books covering topics relevant to the children of today, including grief, anxiety, bullying and staying safe online.

In recognition of the potential impact of living with diagnosed conditions and physical disabilities, the booklist explores living well with conditions including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), dyslexia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and physical disabilities.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) and includes titles suitable for a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings, family and carers.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for leisure, culture, waste and communications, said:

I’m delighted to see this national scheme coming to Shropshire. We know from an NHS Digital survey that one in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19-year olds in England had at least one mental health condition when assessed in 2017.

There is enormous need for quality-assured health information, advice and stories to support children and their families in understanding and managing their mental wellbeing, and Shropshire’s libraries have a key role to play. The Reading Well for children books provide a way for families to explore difficult feelings such as anxiety, grief, and low self-esteem in really helpful and positive ways.

Libraries will be highlighting the new collections during Children’s Mental Health Week (3-7 February), with the 33 titles free to borrow from 3 February 2020.

They can be recommended by health and social care professionals, teachers and anyone else working to support children and families.

For more information on the Reading Well for children scheme or on the additional themed Reading Well collections stocked by Shropshire Libraries, contact the Library Development Team on 01743-255031, email libraries@shropshire.gov.uk or visit the Reading Well website https://reading-well.org.uk/

Shropshire Libraries are managed by Shropshire Council.

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