‘Sorted! It’s all about me’, the follow up scheme to Books on Prescription, has been honoured with an award at the West Midlands Public Health Excellence Conference.
‘Sorted’ is a scheme in which the main public libraries and some school and college libraries hold collections of self-help books. Aimed at adolescents, they deal with common situations and problems that arise in this age group that can affect mental health such as parents separating, the loss of someone close, stress, anger management and self-esteem.
The scheme won the Innovation in Public Health category. Young people were involved in the development of the service at every stage, including the selection of the books, which are also endorsed by health professionals.
The books are available for anyone to borrow through Warwickshire’s public library network, including parents and carers and anyone working with young people. They are also available now in 14 schools and colleges at present as well as four libraries.
Procedures have been devised to make books easier to borrow such as a recommendation form for use by professionals working with young people being the equivalent of library ID, removal of charges and e-books are also being looked at to make the books more accessible to young people.
Sorted! is funded by a County Council Mental Health Capital Funds.
It follows the highly successful Books on Prescription scheme in which doctors and other health professionals can prescribe self-help library books to adults experiencing low-level mental health issues. In the two years since its inception it has seen over 10,000 book loans across Warwickshire.
Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for health said:
“My heartiest congratulations go out to all involved. This award justly rewards a scheme which is a blueprint for how the public sector should work by seeking to prevent problems rather than cure them. It makes limited resources go further and, more importantly, can save a lot of young people from the anguish of mental health issues.”
John Linnane, NHS Warwickshire and Warwickshire County Council’s Joint Director of Public Health, said: “Sorted! builds on the hugely successful Books on Prescription scheme, The Sorted! scheme is an excellent example of joint working across the local authority and health sector to provide community based resources with the potential to help many young people and families in Warwickshire”.
For more details of Sorted! visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/sorted