Promoting mental wellbeing for young people in Warwickshire

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A NEW service called ‘Sorted! It’s all about me’ will be launched in libraries and schools around Warwickshire starting on World Mental Health Day on Monday.

Sorted! self-help book collections are now available in main public libraries and some school and college libraries to help adolescents deal with common situations and problems that may affect their mental health, such as parents separating, the loss of someone close, stress, anger management and self-esteem.

The books are available for anyone to borrow through Warwickshire’s public library network, including parents and carers and anyone working with young people. The books can be borrowed and returned using the library self-issue machines, and are loaned for 3 weeks, although this can easily be extended either online or via a 24/7 phone line.

Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for health said: “Many mental health problems start early in life, and half of those with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptons by the age of

14. We know from schemes operating elsewhere that

carefully chosen self-help guides can really help, and this scheme offers resources that can support the work of a range of services working with young people, as well as being available for young people to access for themselves”.

Young people have been involved in the development of the service at every stage, including the selection of the books, which are also endorsed by health professionals.

All of the schools with Sorted! collections also participated in devising and voting for a name for the scheme.

Lynne Tyler, Time for You Project Manager at Relate said “Sorted! is a great idea! Young people often feel they have been given a label. If we can help provide them with additional information to help them understand themselves, their condition and recognize they are not alone, as well as suggest practical actions, this can help them to be empowered to improve their emotional well-being and receive appropriate help and support.”

Sorted! is the result of partnership working between Warwickshire Library and Information Service and Warwickshire’s Children’s and Young People’s Emotional Well-being and Mental Health Strategy Group, and is funded by a Warwickshire County Council Mental Health Capital Grant.

It follows the Books on Prescription scheme which has a range of books available for adults experiencing common mental health issues and which has seen nearly 10,000 loans across Warwickshire in under two years.

Paula Mawson, NHS Warwickshire said: “Sorted! Is a development of the Books on Prescription scheme which has been so widely used. There has been a demand for something similar for young people and I am delighted that this has been introduced.”

The books are on display for anyone to borrow in the Teen section of Rugby Library and at the Avon Valley School which held assemblies throughout the week commencing Monday 10 October, World Mental Health Day, raising awareness of the pilot and of the issues it is seeking to address.

Three young people who helped in choosing the name of the pilot received prize booktokens.

Sorted! collections are on permanent display in 8 of Warwickshire’s 34 libraries but can be ordered for collection from any library, or mobile library, in the county, or via the online reservation service at:

warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries. The collections are also being piloted in a number of school and college settings across the county.

More information about the ‘Sorted! It’s all about me’ scheme is available online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/sorted.