CHESHIRE West and Chester Council (CWAC) has launched a new scheme designed to use reading to help people who suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme will enable GPs and other health professionals to recommend 30 self-help titles for people to borrow from their local library.

The service, which was launched nationally last week, is now being rolled out in public libraries across west Cheshire.

Clr Brenda Dowding, executive member for adult social care and health, said: “The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme is a fantastic example of joined up working between organisations, placing the focus clearly on the wellbeing of our residents and ensuring they have the best knowledge and advice at their fingertips.

“Cheshire west libraries will hold a core list of 30 titles covering issues ranging from anxiety, depression and phobias to panic attacks, bulimia and sleep problems – all of which will be available to borrow from any library within the borough.

“Ensuring that our residents understand the condition that they are suffering from will give them the very best chance of recovery, guided by skilled professionals with the health care system.”

Reading Well Books on Prescription is a joining initiative from independent charity the Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians, working with local library services.

It offers people self-help books from the library as part of cognitive behavioural therapy prescribed by a health professional.

The scheme works within National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines which recommend the approach for a range of common mental health disorders.

All 30 books will be available from West Cheshire libraries. It is free to join either in person or online and the books can be reserved online as well as in the library at