Doctors and other health workers can prescribe self-help books as well as, or instead of medication.

About the scheme

Our libraries work with Bristol Primary Care Trust to provide a self-help service for people with emotional and psychological difficulties or issues.

Your doctor or health worker will give you a prescription form with details of the book they’re prescribing. You then take the form to any library and reserve the book free of charge.

How the books help

Specialist health professionals, counsellors, and academics have chosen the books that are part of the scheme.

Some of the books contain exercises, self-assessments and treatment programmes for you to work through. These are designed to raise your self-awareness.

The books also suggest courses of action that might help, such as simple ways to change unhelpful thinking and behaviour.

How the scheme works

If you aren’t already a member of the library, our librarians will use the prescription as identification and help you join there and then.

If the book your doctor prescribed isn’t available, we’ll reserve a copy for you free of charge.

If the book has pages to fill in, don’t write in it. Photocopy the pages you need and write on the copies instead.

If you need more help, go back to the person who prescribed the book, or visit your doctor.