You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Books just what the doctor ordered

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/05/2016

For some mental health patients in the South Island, books have been just the medicine they need, a new study has found.

The Wellsouth "Books on Prescription" programme has since 2011 been offering "bibliotherapy" to patients in the Otago's rural areas, where other treatments have been limited.

It has been rolled out to 17 libraries since.

Under the programme, doctors and social workers can "prescribe" patients books aimed at improving self-management skills as cheap and easy treatment for patients with mild mental health issues.

A new study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health has found the project has been a valuable mental health resources.

"Most prescribers and librarians felt that the programme benefited their clients and the wider community, and the majority of consumers found the books both easy to read and helpful," the authors said.

They said a nation-wide roll-out of the programme, like has been set up in Britain, would help create a more structured and comprehensive approach to running the programme that would also help better evaluate its benefits.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon