Health and wellbeing resources in our libraries

Health and wellbeing resources in our libraries

We all want to lead happy and contented lives and our health plays a major part in our overall wellbeing. Here at Newcastle Libraries we offer a range of free resources, information and partnerships which aim to help people improve their own health and wellbeing.  

Reading Well collections

Reading Well is a collection of books which can help you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing. Our collections cover mental health, long term conditions and dementia as well as books aimed at younger people's health and wellbeing.  

Some of the titles are also available to borrow as an eBook or eAudiobook via BorrowBox with your library card number and PIN. If you are not a member of the library you can join online.

Reading well for mental health

Reading Well for mental health helps you to understand and manage your mental health and wellbeing. Books in these collections are specially chosen and recommended by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected, health professionals and people with mental health needs, so you can be sure that the information they contain can be trusted. The chosen books deal with issues you might experience such as anger, anxiety, fear, panic, worry, assertiveness, confidence, self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, fatigue and pain.

 View the 37 titles recommended on the scheme.

You can use the books on your own or with the support of a health professional. If you are struggling with a health problem we would recommend you to talk to your GP as they can advise you on what other treatments would best suit your needs. If you feel uncomfortable about approaching your GP and would like a referral to a mental health professional, or would like to access the self-help materials, go to Talking Helps Newcastle or Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Reading Well for teens

Reading Well for teens was developed for young people to help you cope with the pressures of life, feel better about yourself and boost your confidence using books. The books were chosen by young people and health experts to help you with difficult feelings and experiences that can affect your wellbeing. The books have information and advice as well as personal stories about dealing with feelings such as anxiety, depression or stress and experiences such as bullying.  

View the 35 titles recommended on the scheme

You don't need to struggle on your own.  As well as your GP being able to offer help and advice. You might also find it helpful to talk things through with people you trust such as your parents, a friend or a teacher, or a school nurse or counsellor if you're still at school. For support the Anna Freud Centre has information and short films on mental health services or visit Young Minds a national charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people.   

Reading Well for children

Reading Well for children recommends reading to help children deal with worries, feel better and boost their mood. The books have been chosen by children, carers, health experts and librarians to help you understand your feelings and cope with tough times. You can read the books on your own, or talk about them with brothers and sisters, friends, parents, carers, teachers, doctors or somebody else you trust.

View the titles recommended on the scheme

You can use the books on your own, however, if you find you are struggling you might find it helpful to talk things through with people you trust such as a parent or carer, a friend, teacher, school nurse or counsellor. You can ask about going to see your doctor if you want more support. 

The following organisations offer support and counselling:

Anna Freud Centre has tips and advice as well as videos to help children and young people.

Childline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Reading Well dementia

Reading Well dementia is a collection of recommended books you might find helpful if you have dementia, or want to find out more about the condition. The books include information and advice, help after diagnosis, practical support for carers and personal stories. These books were recommended by The Reading Agency and health professionals and were tried and tested by people with experience of dementia. Books were selected using guidelines and quality standards for dementia care from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and other professional organisations.

 View the 25 titles recommended on the scheme

The following reputable organisations offer information and support for people living with or affected by dementia:

Alzheimer's Society

Dementia UK


Carers UK

Reading Agency Reading Well

Reading Well: Tackling life's big challenges through the power of reading - every library in England will receive three Reading Well collections for mental health for adults, young people and children. This is part of The Reading Agency's Read, Talk, Share campaign to promote wellbeing through the proven power of reading in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has been made possible through funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). See the links above for a list of the titles available to borrow.

Newcastle Libraries also have a range of other health books and fiction books which deal with health issues that can be searched for on our library catalogue

Playlist for Life

Playlist for Life is a music and dementia charity that advocates the use of personal playlists for people with dementia and those close to them.

Music has the power to bring joy to those living with dementia. The 'Create the Soundtrack of Your Life' booklet helps people living with dementia to identify, with their carers, the songs that matter to them and record the memories they evoke, aiding conversation and engagement.

Newcastle Libraries have signed up to be Help Points to distribute and promote the Playlist for Life's booklet 'Create the Soundtrack of Your Life'. You can pick up a copy from any of our libraries.

Health Resources

NHS Health Education England 

NHS health information sites are reliable and informative and can help you with a range of issues such as finding a local GP or dentist, learning more about conditions and improving your health choices.

Little Orange Book

For expert advice on helping babies and young children when they’re poorly.

Mental Wellbeing Support

To find more sources of quality health information, check out the NHS website.

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