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Reading Well

Reading Well for Young People (RWYP) is a new public library scheme to help 13-18 year olds manage their mental health, wellbeing and resilience using recommended reading.

the scheme is supported by the Department of Health and NHS England and has been developed and delivered by the national charity, The Reading Agency working in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians, the Association of Children’s and Education Librarians, local library services and other partners. It is funded at a national level by the Arts Council and the Wellcome Trust and locally by local library services working with partners.

The scheme, launched nationally and in Wiltshire in 2016, is part of the ‘Reading Well Books on Prescription’ which began in 2013. 

The evidence base for reading as a wellbeing tool can be found on the Reading Agency website

How it works

Professionals supporting young people, including school counsellors, school nurses and GPs can recommend helpful reading using the booklist in the user leaflet. 

The reading material can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or can be recommended alongside medication and/or talking therapies. 

The scheme can also be used on a self-referral basis as the books are available on the open shelves in public libraries and free for anyone to borrow. 

The books

The 35 books cover 12 topics or conditions including general information and advice on supporting well being and resilience plus common conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism, mood swings, eating disorders and self harm as well as difficult life experiences such as bullying and school/exam pressure.






The books are written for young people by authors who are either experts by experience or profession. The list includes fiction and non-fiction, different formats including graphic novels, and caters for different reading levels.


Wiltshire libraries have at least 3 copies of every title. The books and publicity materials (posters and user guides) will be displayed in the three largest libraries – Salisbury, Trowbridge and Chippenham. The other 17 larger libraries will display the posters and leaflets.

All the books can be reserved from any Wiltshire library or online for free and will be available to borrow initially for 3 weeks (longer if not reserved). All library staff will be briefed on the scheme and be able to signpost to further support.

Promotional Materials to download

The user leaflet ‘Find shelf help in your local library’

A4 poster

A3 poster

Wiltshire poster with explanation

Complete booklist






Related Links

See the 'find a library section' here

The ‘Reading Well’ website for young people:

The Reading Well website

For more information about library services to young people contact Sarah Hillier, County Development Librarian – Children and Young People