If you are looking to improve your health and wellbeing, your local library is a great place to start.
Our libraries help people help themselves by providing access to accredited health information, health signposting, reading programmes promoting learning and literacy, social and recreational activities and volunteering opportunities that keep people active.
Wellbeing bags are a portable collection of items, books and activities to encourage people to practice self-care and enhance mental wellbeing. They can be reserved and borrowed from any North Yorkshire library by individuals and groups, for use at home, in the library or out in the community.
The bags are confidential and easy to use. They include resources and information such as colouring, recipes, puzzles, self-help books, a relaxation CD, and health information and advice.
Wellbeing bags can be borrowed free of charge for three weeks using a library card.
Reading Well Books on Prescription
Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme helps people manage their own health and wellbeing through recommended self-help books endorsed by health experts. You can be recommended a title by a health professional, or you can visit your local library and take a book out yourself. The titles can be searched for and requested online or ask at your library and request them free of charge.
Currently four book lists are available:
- Books on Prescription for common mental health conditions
- Books on Prescription for dementia
- Books on Prescription for young people's mental health
- Books on Prescription for long-term conditions
Research suggests that reading for 30 minutes a week increases health and wellbeing. Reading is known to have many health-boosting properties, including reducing stress, improving memory and providing relaxation and enjoyment. The Reading Well Mood-boosting books scheme is a national promotion of uplifting novels, non-fiction and poetry selected by individuals and reading groups from around the country. Borrow a book - it may do you the world of good!
The library service aims to support the health and wellbeing of those living with dementia, raise awareness and understanding, promote self-help and provide information and signposting to enable people to access support. All North Yorkshire libraries are dementia friendly and we have rolling programme of training for staff and volunteers in dementia awareness. We work with partners to host memory cafes, have a regular sporting memories session at Northallerton library and loan out reminiscence collections to carers and groups supporting people with dementia.
Visit our memory problems and dementia page for further information and support with dementia.
Events and promotions
Our libraries host a number of health and wellbeing activities and roadshows throughout the year linking in with local and national initiatives. They are a great way to find out more about what you can do to improve your own health, or those close to you, and meet and talk to professionals in a less formal environment.