Friday 22 June 2018

Book by Ruby Wax to help combat mental health stigma

Actress and writer Wax has been open about dealing with depression.

Ruby Wax has spoken of dealing with depression (Ian West/PA)
Ruby Wax has spoken of dealing with depression (Ian West/PA)

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent

A book by Ruby Wax has been included on a list of titles deemed to offer support to people with mental health needs.

A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled by Wax, who has previously spoken of dealing with depression, has been picked as one of the 2018 Reading Well for mental health titles from The Reading Agency and Society of Chief Librarians.

The books on the list aim to help people understand and manage their mental health.

Other authors listed include Cathy Rentzenbrink (A Manual For Heartache), Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy With The Topknot), and Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive.)

The expert-endorsed reads, which also include self-help titles, are available free in libraries across England.

This scheme will improve, and maybe even save, many lives Matt Haig

Matt Haig said: “Reading Well is an absolutely brilliant scheme that recognises the true proven therapeutic power of words.

“It will help people facing mental struggles to feel understood, and to get help.

“This scheme will improve, and maybe even save, many lives.”

The Reading Well programme was launched in 2013 and has reached more than 778,000 people in the UK.

Katie Clarke-Day, who lives with multiple long-term conditions, helped to co-produce the scheme with The Reading Agency, Society of Chief Librarians and health professionals.

She said: “Mental health issues are still shrouded in stigma. They are also by their nature isolating and scary.

“There is a lot of information contained within these books that could save lives, sometimes just the simple recognition that the way you feel has a name or that other people felt this too.

“I don’t think we can underestimate the power of this list.

“I also have a lot of respect for libraries both in terms of the wealth of knowledge stored in the books they contain but also in the community space and hub of activity they provide for so many people across the country.”

Jackie Doyle-Price, Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, said Reading Well “is a welcome initiative to help empower people and inform everyone about their own mental health”.

“This Government is committed to improving mental health across the country and it’s important to see schemes like this which encourage people to talk and help reduce stigma,” Doyle-Price added.

The full list of Reading Well for mental health titles was announced at an event at the Wellcome Trust on Tuesday.

Press Association

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