Eight of the books on the Reading Well for Young People scheme

A scheme to support young people with mental health issues by providing free expert books was launched today.

The scheme will provide 13-18 year-olds with high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures, such as bullying and exams.

At present it is estimated that more than 10% of youngsters have a diagnosable mental health issue. The project, Reading Well for Young People, is part of the hugely successful Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which has reached more than half a million people since it was launched in 2013.

With the proportion of 15-16 year olds reporting that they frequently feel anxious or depressed having doubled in the past 30 years, there is an enormous need for quality assured mental health information and advice for young people. Co-created with a panel of young people who themselves have a mental health issue, the new Reading Well for Young People scheme uses book-based therapy to help them understand and manage their condition.