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:
Sexual abuse (adult survivors).
For a list of prescription books please click to download the Book List below
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.
Professor Neil Frude
Neil Frude is a consultant clinical psychologist working in Cardiff. He is an External Professor at the University of Glamorgan and the Director of Clinical Research on the South Wales Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Programme.
He has published over 80 articles in scientific journals and has written a dozen books on a variety of topics including family relations, the prevention of violence, child abuse, statistics and human relations with computer systems as well as a textbook on clinical psychology.
In 2003 Neil devised a book prescription scheme for mental health which has been widely emulated throughout the UK and is now a government-funded national scheme in Wales – Book Prescription Wales. This was re-launched in January 2011.
If you would like to contact Neil, you can e-mail him at:
Consultant Clinical Psychologist,
Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board