03 February 2021 Share
Tackling loneliness and supporting mental health through the proven power of reading.
The Reading Agency have announced a new initiative to combat loneliness and promote wellbeing through the proven power of reading during the COVID-19 pandemic this winter.
Enabled by a £3.5 million award by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Read, Talk, Share will expand The Reading Agency’s already successful Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes, with the charity’s work to tackle loneliness and support mental health and wellbeing identified by the Government as a key aspect of the nation’s Covid recovery.
The two initiatives demonstrate the power of reading to support and connect isolated individuals, and the benefits of bibliotherapy to mental health. The DCMS funding presents an unprecedented level of investment in library services to tackle loneliness and support mental health, and The Reading Agency plans to work closely with local libraries and organisations to reach communities through reading, talking, and sharing.
Books from the Reading Well mental health booklists are available now for digital borrowing free through public libraries, to support the public’s mental health and wellbeing. Books for children, young people and adults are available so a great resource for parents, teachers, students – everyone across the nation in these challenging and changing times. Print copies are being provided to all libraries across England when they can reopen. Meanwhile, Reading Friends activity is starting all over the country. Over 100 library authorities have started delivering Reading Friends projects in their area, online and by telephone, connecting people through the proven power of reading.
Learn more about how you can help tackle loneliness and support mental health with the Read, Talk, Share campaign here.