Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bibliotherapy initiative at Ballybane Library

Lá Nua, the Day Hospital, in Ballybane, which provides therapies and developmental clinics locally through its team of nurses, doctors and occupational therapists, is situated on the floor just above the Ballybane Library.

Taking their lead from the Book Prescription Scheme in operation in Dublin City Libraries, the Ballybane Library staff are working with the Day Hospital in providing book lists to patients who may have mild or moderate illnesses (such as mild depression, OCD, eating disorders and so on).

If a patient sees a book on the list in which they are interested, then on their way out of the hospital they are encouraged call into the Ballybane Library, borrow the book and take it home with them. In other words, the staff in Ballybane Library are working with local doctors and local health professionals to offer this scheme to those who want to use books to help themselves. The initiative gives people who are attending the Ballybane Day Hospital easy access through their local library to good self-help material to help them through any current difficulties which they may be experiencing.
Medication has an important role in helping people with emotional problems, and is often very effective. However, people can also be helped by reading appropriate ‘self-help’ material. Many self-help books have been shown to be very useful in helping people to overcome a range of psychological problems. The use of books as a means of providing psychological therapy is known as ‘bibliotherapy’.

This bibliotherapy initiative in Ballybane Library has been greeted with great enthusiasm all round, and the number of people availing of the service is growing.

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