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New books at Rutland libraries to support children’s mental health

Date Published: 06 February 2020
Reading Well

Rutland Library Service is stocking a new ‘Reading Well for children’ book list as part of a national drive to support children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Coinciding with Children’s Mental Health Week, UK charity The Reading Agency and Libraries Connected have launched the new children’s mental health scheme as part of their Reading Well programme.

This new Reading Well for children book list responds to research which has found that one in eight (12.8%) children aged from five to 19  had at least one mental health condition when assessed in 2017.

In 2019, BookTrust also reported that more than a third of parents of children aged four to 11 worried about their child’s mental health at least once a week.  

Launched on the first day of Children’s Mental Health Week 2020, new Reading Well booklist has been recognised by the Royal Society for Public Health and developed in partnership with Libraries Connected.

The list contains 33 books covering important topics for children, including grief, anxiety, bullying and staying safe online. In recognition of the potential impact of living with diagnosed conditions and physical disabilities, the booklist also explores living well with conditions including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), dyslexia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and physical disabilities. 

The book list is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 and includes titles suitable for a wide range of reading levels. This is intended to support less confident readers and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers. 

“The Reading Agency and public libraries across the country are harnessing the power of reading to help tackle the crisis facing children’s mental health. These books will start conversations with children about how they’re feeling and show them that others have felt the same way. Public libraries have long been places where people have sought answers and comfort; this scheme combines the safe space of the library with inspiring children and families to read for pleasure and wellbeing.”
Michael Rosen, author

“At The Reading Agency, we believe in the proven power of reading to tackle life’s big challenges, including the challenge we all face of managing our mental health and wellbeing. This new and important area of our work will support all children, including the one in eight who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, with using quality-assured information, advice and stories all approved by experts.” 
Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency

“Children today face multiple challenges to their mental health and wellbeing. This new Reading Well list has a vital role to play in helping them to consider and improve their own wellbeing. Libraries Connected are proud to work with The Reading Agency to develop and share this list with libraries across the country as part of our Universal Health Offer.”
Mark Freeman, President of Libraries Connected

“This initiative acknowledges the power of words: the power to be able to explore the often complex issues that present themselves to young people in a modern society, offering opportunities to deepen understanding about themselves and others. This contributes to the development of well-rounded, resilient, thoughtful young people as they embark on their journey through life. The body and mind must be nourished in equal measure; I'm delighted, therefore, that our libraries will be supporting this invaluable work.”
Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure

Rutland County Council operates public libraries in Oakham, Uppingham, Ketton and Ryhall, as well as a mobile library vehicle – all of which are completely free to use for children and adults of all ages.

For more information, including a full list of library services and opening times, please see our Libraries page.

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