In partnership with Lambeth Library Service, GPs and other health professionals prescribe books from a list of high quality self-help manuals selected by experienced mental health practitioners.

The Books on Prescription Scheme is a very effective way of helping people with common mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, phobias and eating disorders.

There is first class clinical evidence to show that books can be just as effective as other forms of therapy - and with the advantage of having no side effects.

Books can work well either on their own or used in conjunction with other forms of treatment. Your doctor will advise - of course the more you put into following the guidance given, the better the result is likely to be.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. How the scheme works

Your doctor will give you a ‘prescription’ which can be exchanged for the recommended book at any Lambeth Library. If you’re not already a library member, simply bring your prescription to the library and you can join straight away - it’s free!

  • If the book is not immediately available, the library will get it for you from another branch as soon as possible - free of charge.
  • Books can be borrowed for three weeks but if you need the book longer, it’s easy to renew it either at the library, by phone or online.
  • Borrower details and book loans are strictly confidential information. Your prescription will be treated with respect and discretion by library staff.
  • You are always welcome to have someone else pick up your book prescription for you, if you prefer.
  • If you would like to borrow any of the titles on the list but don’t have a prescription you can still come to any Lambeth Library and borrow any of the titles.

2. Find out more

All Books on Prescription titles are free of charge. For more information on the National scheme visit the Reading Well website.

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