Books & Review | Sam Goodwin
Updated: Feb 01, 2013 07:11 AM EST

General Practitioners to prescribe Self-Help Books To Patients

General Practitioners to prescribe Self-Help Books To Patients (Photo : Flickr/ twechy)

According to a report by The Guardian, general practitioners will now prescribe self-help books to patients that have mild mental health problems, anxiety, panic attacks and are depressive.

In an attempt to improve the mental well-being of the country, libraries in the U.K. will stock up with books such as "The Feeling Good Handbook", "Overcoming Anger and Irritability" and "How to Stop Worrying," which will now be part of the prescriptions that GPs will give their patients that have mild mental health problems, anxiety, panic attacks and depression problems.

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The announcement was made Thursday at the British Library and has been developed by the Reading Agency Charity that has been working on the same for the last one year. "There is a growing evidence base that shows that self-help reading can help people with certain mental health conditions to get better,"  the charity's chief executive, Miranda McKearney, said of the project.

McKearney revealed that approximately 6 million people in the U.K. suffer from mild mental illnesses like depression and anxiety but only one-third of them receive proper treatment. The books that have been listed as part of the prescription are being distributed to all GPs' clinics and libraries.

"It is wonderful that it's spreading," said Cardiff-based clinical psychologist, professor Neil Frude. "I'm a little disappointed it has taken this long to get to England to be honest."

While there is no scarcity in the availability of self-help books, Frude says that finding the right book might pose a challenge as there are both good and bad books available in the market.

"There is no shortage of books but some of them are atrocious and some of them are absolute gold," said Frude.

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