Healthy Reading Midlothian for Children, Young People & Families

New project launches following the success of adult service

A new scheme aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and families in Midlothian has launched this week.

Healthy Reading Midlothian for children, young people and families follows on from the success of the adult service which has provided over 1,600 ‘books on prescription’ so far.

The scheme, targeted at children and young people with mild to moderate mental health problems, enables both them and their carers/families to access self-help resources including books, CDs, DVDs and websites from Midlothian libraries.

Cathy Richards, Head of Child & Adolescent Psychology for NHS Lothian said: “The wide range of resources available address common child and adolescent mental health issues including: low mood; stress and anxiety; self-esteem, bullying, eating disorders, sleep problems and bereavement.

“There are a number of resources aimed at helping parents to understand the problems their child may be having, which offer skills and techniques to help them to support their child.”

The service is free and confidential and depending on individual need, self-help resources can either be used on their own or alongside other treatments such as medication and counselling.

Any child, young person or family member living in Midlothian will also be able to access the scheme without referral from a health care professional.

Cathy continued:

“If a GP or other health professional decides that a child or young person could benefit from using the service, they will be able to recommend it. The child or young person can then take the title of the book, booklet or DVD to any library in Midlothian and borrow it.”

All members of the public are being encouraged to take advantage of the scheme. Councillor Adam Montgomery, Provost of Midlothian, added:

“I’m pleased to see this free and confidential scheme, which has helped so many adults now being extended to families and younger people in our community. I also welcome the healthy reading areas in libraries as they enable anyone with health concerns to access a wide range of useful resources.”

The multiagency partnership behind the initiative includes Midlothian Council, NHS Lothian, Choose Life and the Midlothian Library Service.