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Book Prescription Wales
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Book Prescription Wales
Book Prescription Wales

What is it?

Book Prescription Wales is a scheme whereby health professionals prescribe self-help books to individuals with emotional issues. The scheme was developed by Professor Neil Frude and involves collaboration between the Welsh Government, Local Health Boards and Library Services throughout Wales.

Why prescribe books?

Many people experience stress, anxiety and depression and need help to control their emotions. In fact at any one time, 1 in 6 adults has a diagnosable psychological problem. Because many of these people have no contact with a mental health professional, they do not have access to psychological treatment. However, self-help books can be very effective in helping people to deal with their feelings. The term used for psychological therapy delivered by means of books is ‘bibliotherapy’. Bibliotherapy is a highly effective way of delivering psychological therapy, although it is not suitable for everybody.

How does it work?

A health professional issues a prescription for a self-help book from the list of books recommended by psychologists in Wales, and the person collects the book from their local public library. All of the books on the list are available from any library in Wales. Many of the books prescribed are self help versions of the ‘live therapy, provided by professionals and the therapy provides valuable help for those who participate in the scheme.

Some Topics covered by Book prescription Wales include:





Compulsive disorders


Eating disorders

Low self-esteem


Sexual abuse (adult survivors).



For a list of prescription books please click to download the Book List below

About BPW

Book Prescription Wales came about as the national rollout of the Cardiff Book Prescription Scheme which was launched in 2003. This scheme was also emulated in Scotland and parts of England as well as other regions in Wales.

The pilot was successful and in 2005 the Welsh Government commissioned Book Prescription Wales as a national scheme which included the development of English and Welsh audio versions of the books. The scheme has continued to be successful and was re-launched, with an updated book list, in 2011.
If you would like to receive more information about Book Prescription Wales please contact or phone 0845 606 4050.



BPW 2010 Booklist
BPW 2010 Booklist
Click here to download the 2010 booklist

BPW Patient Information Leaflet
BPW Patient Information Leaflet
 Click here to download the NHS Patient Information Leaflet on BPW

BPW Prescriber Information booklet
BPW Prescriber Information booklet
Click here to download the BPW Prescriber Information booklet