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Partners launch ‘Read Yourself Well’ self-help reading initiative

Launch of Read Yourself Well initiative at Antrim Library
Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Jim O’Hagan, Chief Executive Libraries NI, Councillor Paul Hamill, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Elaine O’Doherty, Public Health Agency, and Pat Smyth, Health and Social Care Board, pictured browsing the new collection of self-help health and wellness related books at Antrim Library during the launch of reading initiative, Read Yourself Well.

Antrim Library hosted the launch of a new self-help reading initiative, Read Yourself Well and the introduction of an extensive new collection of self-help health and wellness related books recommended by the Reading Agency and written by wellness experts, doctors and best-selling authors.

Read Yourself Well is an initiative being taken forward jointly by Libraries NI, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and The Public Health Agency (PHA) as a partnership contribution to community planning. The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has funded the purchase of health books with the aim to help people understand and manage their health and well-being using self-help reading.

Titles in the range offer members of the public the opportunity to learn more about a variety of health issues including anxiety, dementia, addiction, women’s health, pain management and many other long-term conditions.

Libraries NI Chief Executive Jim O’Hagan commented: “Libraries NI is committed to contributing to local community planning, thanks to the partnership with and support of leading Northern Ireland health agencies, Libraries NI is pleased to offer this informative new collection to all members of the community. Read Yourself Well offers free access to a wide range of health and wellness information for people to read in their own homes at their convenience.”

Lord Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Hamill spoke of the initiative:  “On behalf of the Council and the Community Planning Partnership, I welcome this partnership initiative between Libraries NI, the Trust and the PHA.  Community Planning is about finding new and better ways to work together and to share our resources.  Read Yourself Well is a perfect example of working together for a shared purpose, in this case Health and Wellbeing – the Trust has the health expertise, the PHA has the resources and Libraries NI has the network for dissemination.”

Pat Smyth, HSCB and Elaine O’Doherty, PHA expressed their support for the initiative which demonstrates how organisations can work together to enhance local services, highlighting community planning at its best.

Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive, Northern Health and Social Care Trust said, “The Northern Trust is delighted to have worked closely with Libraries NI to establish Read Yourself Well across four local libraries in our area. This initiative aims to improve health and wellbeing by increasing knowledge and understanding through better access for the public to helpful, trust worthy and supportive books on a wide range of conditions. This should be of great help to many people and I would encourage everyone to use these free resources.”

The full collection is available for loan now at Carrickfergus, Ballycastle, Antrim and Maghera libraries while other health titles are available in all libraries.

To access the Read Yourself Well collection visit any of the participating libraries with your membership card or register for a new free membership by calling into your local branch or online at http://www.librariesni.org.uk