Self help books on prescription

SELF-help books could soon go hand in hand with prescriptions of pills, medicines and other treatments to help people with depression and anxiety in Suffolk.

SELF-help books could soon go hand in hand with prescriptions of pills, medicines and other treatments to help people with depression and anxiety in Suffolk.

A new series of self-help books is being launched by Ipswich Primary Care Trust and Suffolk County Council tomorrow.

The scheme, branded Books on Prescription, is the first of its kind in East Anglia and one of only three in the country. It was pioneered in Cardiff and a similar project is now running in Devon.

Issues covered include anxiety and worry, bereavement, depression, panic attacks and stress.

Potential solutions to stress, obsessions and compulsions, eating disorders, anger management, head injuries, self esteem and confidence are also suggested.

Gambling, phobias and assertiveness are other areas included in the series.

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The initiative has been launched at a time when figures show one in four people suffers from mental illness in Suffolk at some point in their lives.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Primary Care Trust, said the literature could be suggested by doctors, counsellors and nurses a possible remedy.

She said: "Emotional problems like these are very common and research shows that most of us will feel depressed, anxious or worried some time in our lives.

"Family doctors and others can help us with these problems in many ways including referrals to specialist colleagues, medication or highlighting the support available from self-help and voluntary groups.

"Family doctors, nurses and counsellors can now 'prescribe' carefully selected self-help books."

The books are available in libraries throughout Ipswich. There is no charge to view them and you do not have to be a member of the library.

The launch is being held at 1pm tomorrow at County Library, in Northgate Street, Ipswich.

Do self-help books work? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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