Reading Well for Young People

As you may have seen recently, the Reading Agency launched the Shelf Help initiative designed to support the mental health needs of young people across the country.

Reading Well for young people is part of the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which will provide 13 to 18 year olds which information and advice on a broad range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression, as well as other life pressures such as bullying and exams.

shelf help

The Shelf Help booklists are incredibly varied (some of the books are above, or alternatively, see here) and were chosen by young people and health experts to help with difficult feelings and experiences that can affect wellbeing. The books in question will be available in public libraries, including those branches across Norfolk, so look out for those the next time you visit your local library. You can also find some info on the special Shelf Help page of this blog (here!)

On the initiative, Amelia from Litcham writes:

Mental health is a growing issue for young people with 1 in 10 young people having a diagnosable mental health issue. To help combat this public libraries across England are launching a scheme. This will enable young people to borrow a range of books that offer support to young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. The books have been written by experts. They offer the advice on how to deal with a range of mental illnesses. Eleanor Hebden one of our fantastic Reading Hack volunteers will be reading Faceless (a poem ) by Benjamin Zephaniah at the launch of Shelf Help at Dereham Library on 1st June. We wish her the best of luck! Shelf Help is a brilliant idea and having read one of the books on the programme, I really think they will make a difference. Helping young people to combat a serious issues through reading.

The Teenage Guide To Stress is an interesting and informative book that helps and informs the reader on all areas of stress. It is split into three sections; section one (dealing with what’s and whys of stress), section two (your worries and questions), section three (on how to prevent stress.) The author presents the information in a clear and concise way. Unlike other guides, books and talks on stress, after reading the book you are given actual and more importantly do-able things to combat stress. The book is comforting and reassures the reader they are not alone. Although the author is an adult you feel likes she truly understands you and the world of teenagers with the inclusion of quotes from real teenagers. The book covers a wide range of issues relating to stress including exams, relationships, social media, depression and drugs & alcohol. The book has a wide age range and so younger readers may find they can’t relate to or are disturbed by issues covered.

The cover of The teenage Guide to Stress

The cover of The Teenage Guide to Stress

The book gives an unbiased views on techniques used to combat stress, analysing them in depth. Some readers may find the book disturbing and upsetting,  however having read the book this is unlikely as the author cleverly peppers the text with funny stories that help lighten the text. The book is a reasonably easy read with a good layout, font and size of text. As mentioned above, the book is split into three sections meaning the reader can dip into the book. Useful websites and links are given in the back. All in all a great book. I would recommend to any teenagers suffering from anxiety/stress, also to teenagers who don’t suffer, as it can help you to understand and relate to your friends. This book I feel would be great for parents to help them understand their children and the issues that affect them.

(You can find the book on the Norfolk Library and Information Service catalogue here, and it’s also available as an eBook here)

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