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Books on prescription - supporting mental health issues

The aim of the Books on Prescription scheme is to provide self help resources for mental health issues and promote mental health and positive well being.



This scheme will not be suitable for everybody with mild-moderate mental health problems. Some will have issues that do not fit into any of the categories listed and others will not be suitable because they have limited motivation or limited literacy. There is no precise formula; any one of the books relating to the patient’s problem is likely to prove useful. Bibliotherapy has been shown to be highly acceptable and that patients like the psychological approach as it offers autonomy and control.

They help to enable people to:

Develop skills    l Problem solve l     Manage l      Prevent relapse

Many of the books present self-help versions of the type of therapy that would be given by a Primary Care Mental Health Practitioner,Psychologist or Counsellor. In many cases they present complete step-by-step treatment programmes with exercises, self-assessments, diary sheets, etc. to be completed by the reader.

The list of high quality self-help books was compiled by leading multiprofessionals and piloted in Cardiff led by Professor Neil Frude. Due to the success of their scheme their model is now nationally recognised and widely disseminated.


How the scheme works

GPs and other professionals (such as Primary Care Mental Health Practitioners and counsellors) will be given a pack that includes the list of self-help books recommended by specialists and invited to issue an appropriate ‘Book Prescription’ to patients. The prescription specifies the length of time for which the book can be borrowed.The scheme includes books on many common psychological problems that people experience, including depression, eating disorders, obsessional-compulsive problems, compulsive gambling, social phobia, panic, anger,stress, low self-esteem and the aftermath of sexual abuse.

For more information and the list of books available please see attached document below: