Unwind your mind - Gloucester

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Project name

Unwind your mind

Key audiences



If you’ve suffered a death in the family, would a novel based on bereavement be a way of easing your loss?

A Gloucestershire doctor thinks so and he’s teaming up with Gloucestershire County Council’s Libraries & Information to prescribe a suitable book list.

Dr. Simon Opher, from the May Lane Surgery in Dursley says, “Reading good fiction can unwind your mind and has been proven to help people with problems related to many things including stress, relationships, bereavement, family difficulties and even substance misuse.

“These are as much life problems as medical issues so it’s important that when confronted with them we don’t just reach for the prescription pad. Good fiction can lift us out of our own lives and into others, which allows us to look afresh at our own problems”.

A wide range of novels, put together by county council library staff, deal with depression, illness, bereavement, family relationships, carers, teenagers, living with special needs and catastrophic life events. It will be up to the GP to suggest which titles are appropriate to a patient’s condition.

Cllr Ron Allen, Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries & information said, “This is an imaginative project we hope will help people who suffer with stress, depression and / or long term illnesses, by promoting reading fiction as a means of creative engagement, relaxation and fun.

“Not only is this further proof of the therapeutic nature of a good book, it’s also another example of the varied role libraries can play at the heart of our communities where our staff are always on hand to help”.

The “Unwind Your Mind” project is due to start next month (July) and will continue on a trial basis in Dursley only until March 2009.

The GP suggests a patient chooses a title from the appropriate category and staff at Dursley library will help find it. Someone from the Libraries & Information service will telephone the patient after 3 weeks, to discuss the book with them.

But patients who go to the library to select a book must be a member, so if they’re not already, they must take some form of identification with their name and address on it in order to enrol.

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