Books on Prescription

What is Books on Prescription? – another tool in the stepped-care mental health tool kit

Self-care and supported self-care are important early steps in the treatment of mild to moderate mental health conditions. There is strong evidence that self-help reading can assist people with common mental health conditions.

The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) has partnered with the Books on Prescription scheme, which supports these treatment steps and is now available in public libraries across Central and Far Western NSW. Books included in the scheme are clinically verified, based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and cover a range of mild to moderate mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

The scheme encourages the participation of GPs and other health professionals.

How does it work?

The Books on Prescription user guide includes a list of recommended books that individuals can take to their local library, where the book can be borrowed for free and without a referral.

GPs or other mental health professionals such as psychologists or counsellors can also recommend the books.

The user guide advises that individuals contact their GP or another health professional if the book doesn’t seem to be helping. Practitioners are encouraged to reinforce this as part of the consultation process.

Resources, Training and Evaluation

Free resources to support GPs and other health professionals to prescribe are available, as well as free training to support practice staff.

The pilot phase of the project has been evaluated by the CRRMH, learn more about the key learnings of the scheme.

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