UK Program Connects People with Mental Health at the Library

There are many places that can be relied upon to provide quality mental health care; from a private therapist’s office to a community clinic or institute and many venues in between, the settings for care are many. But the good old library probably does not immediately come to mind when thinking about mental health. Nevertheless, the town of Lancashire in the UK has recently launched a program designed to equip public libraries with information and support that can aid clients in self-help and in seeking professional treatment. The program will include stocking of scores of books and other materials on psychology, specific mental health concerns, self-improvement, and other topics relevant to enjoying a more prosperous inner life. Clients may be “prescribed” certain texts or films by their general practice physicians.

A major component of the plan will involve the mental health training of all library staff, a move that is hoped to make the option of seeking guidance and information more attractive and convenient. Librarians will learn how to understand mental health concerns and to approach and assist those who may be in search of answers about themselves and their lives. Of course, this focus on self-education and help with mental health has its critics, some of which may suggest that leaving clients to pursue answers on their own may discourage them from seeking psychotherapy or other forms of professional help. But with access to professional care constituting one of the industry’s most significant issues, the ability to find guidance in a library, and to potentially find valuable information in a book, DVD, or other piece of media may prove life-changing for many.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Johanson

    Johanson

    January 28th, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    libraries are one of the places few people may depend on .in this way they may probably find it secure and reliable to convey themsevles better. – Johanson

  • James

    James

    January 28th, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    I think UK has done a great job for the upliftment of mental health status of people.

  • gavin

    gavin

    January 29th, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    this is a welcome news as more and more youngsters are now going back to where their parents used to study… a good way to get back to reading and also get help on mental health.

  • Taylor

    Taylor

    January 29th, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    this is a welcome news as more and more youngsters are now going back to where their parents used to study… a good way to get back to reading and also get help on mental health

  • jason t

    jason t

    January 29th, 2010 at 5:51 AM

    great idea!

  • nicole

    nicole

    January 29th, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    are answers really found in books… i mean wisdom must include taking action if change is to happen

  • venessa

    venessa

    January 29th, 2010 at 7:16 AM

    UK has done a great job.

  • Lia

    Lia

    January 29th, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    A novel idea, no doubt but i really doubt the number of people who are going to libraries nowadays and actually reading the books there…

  • Steve

    Steve

    January 30th, 2010 at 6:22 AM

    This is a wonderful start. I myself have at times been looking for material on specific subjects but have not really known where to start. This idea of having someone make recommendations could be eye opening for many who are curious and seeking answers, as well as for those who are in trouble and need help. Books and movies can be so relatable for many, so I think that this is a wonderful idea, hopefully one that will spread as more and more people learn about the infinite improvement possibilities that could become a part of a program like this one.

  • Savannah S

    Savannah S

    January 31st, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    I like it but I hope that they do not think this is a relacement for live interaction between a client and a therapist.

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