Word up! Books and reading ‘good for mental health’ say library chiefs


Chichester residents have been told that books and reading are good for your mental health and that libraries can also help in other ways.

West Sussex libraries are supporting this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 8 through to 14.

Research by The Reading Agency has shown that “reading for pleasure can result in increased empathy, improved relationships with others, reductions in the symptoms of depression and dementia, and improved wellbeing”.

West Sussex County Council statement advises folk to “borrow a book or audiobook or download an eBook or e-audiobook and rediscover the pleasure of reading. Or join a Reading Group or Read Aloud Group to enjoy reading with other people.

“Libraries also have plenty of daytime events where you can enjoy an activity and meet other people, including ‘knit and natter’, ‘board games’ and ‘relax with colouring’.

“These are free, relaxed and informal groups open to everybody. All materials colouring and board games groups are provided. Or come and listen to one of our lunchtime talks or take part in a Healthy Walk which start and finish at some libraries.”

You can check the website www.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries to see what is happening in a library near you.

About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son. And he is a life-long Arsenal fan.