Reading Well for teens launches in City’s libraries

October 25, 2022

A new ‘Reading Well’ collection of books and resources for teenagers launched in public libraries across England and Wales on World Mental Health Day (10 October 2022). At the beginning of 2022, more than 400,000 children and young people were being treated or waiting to be treated for mental health problems in England - the highest number on record.

The scheme, run by national charity The Reading Agency, aims to support the mental wellbeing of teenagers providing information, advice, and support to help them better understand their feelings, handle difficult experiences and boost their confidence in a post-pandemic context. Reading Well will also add value to existing services by helping teens to identify when they might be experiencing poor mental health through their reading content.

This year's collection of books has been chosen and endorsed by leading health professionals and co-produced with teenagers aged 13-19 in a collaboration with Partnership for Young London. This process means that Reading Well lists are not just expert-endorsed but also speak authentically to the needs and interests of users. 100% of the young people surveyed said they would recommend their Reading Well book to a friend.

The list features 27 books and a range of digital resources covering topics including wellbeing, anxiety, depression, body image, neurodiversity, bereavement, life experiences, sexuality and gender identity.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for culture, tourism and the environment, said: “This initiative will be a brilliant help to young people across the country as they navigate their teenage years. The power and comfort of a good book can be a great companion through tough times. A lot of young people struggle to seek help when they are going through challenges in life, but these reading materials will help to equip them to know how to manage their mental health better. Reading Well for teens will help to encourage enjoyment in reading and I am sure this will also act as a great support for local services to connect them with teens that need them most.”

As well as being available to borrow through public libraries, the books can also be recommended by GPs, school nurses, counsellors, link workers and other health & care professionals. Books will be available from public libraries as physical and digital copies.


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