Media Invitation – Books on Prescription Launch

Thursday 9 February 2006 – 13.30-15.00pm
Raynes Park Library, Approach Road, Raynes Park, SW20 8BA

A literary approach to tackling a variety of modern day health problems will be unveiled this Thursday at Raynes Park Library.

Books on Prescription will offer patients who suffer with moderate mental illness the opportunity to overcome their problem with the aid of a book as an alternative or additional measure to medication. Doctors and Mental Health workers will now be able to issue a prescription for over forty different self-help books, should they feel it could help the patients’ condition.

The books will be on prominent display across all of Merton’s Libraries and they cover conditions such as depression, anxiety, social phobia, panic attacks, anger, stress, low self-esteem, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive problems and the aftermath of abusive behaviour. They do not cover psychosis, drug and alcohol abuse, or mental health problems in children or elderly people.

Ingrid Lackajis, Merton’s head of Library and Heritage Services said of Thursday’s launch:

“Books on Prescription is an excellent partnership scheme between Merton and the Sutton and Merton PCT that will assist people in combating certain problems they are experiencing. You simply visit your Doctor or Mental Health worker, who will issue you a prescription for a particular title, and you then visit your library, as you would your local pharmacy, to collect the title the Doctor or Mental Health worker has recommended.

“Patients are entitled to keep the books on loan over a twelve week period, which is in accordance with the Sutton and Merton PCT guidelines. If the book that the patient requires is out on loan, a member of library staff will reserve a copy free of charge. I’m confident that this scheme will herald a wave of new and innovative ideas surrounding healthcare for Merton’s communities.”

Mutsai Hove, Sutton and Merton PCT’s Clinical Champion for Mental Health said:

‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Merton library services to provide the Books on Prescription scheme. We hope it will offer local GPs and other primary healthcare workers an alternative and additional approach to the treatment of people who have conditions such as mild to moderate depression, anxiety or other psychological illnesses. The books available can help patients to understand their illnesses and develop valuable self-help methods.’

This project has featured successfully in pilot projects in Wales, Scotland and Gloucestershire and it is now also pre