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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April, 2005, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Books are right tonic for service
Books in a book shop
The council launched the book therapy scheme five years ago
A health scheme in West Yorkshire that prescribes books instead of medicine has secured extra funding to employ three members of staff.

"Bibliotherapists" were introduced into libraries by Kirklees Council in a bid to tackle depression and anxiety.

The novel scheme encourages people to dose themselves with a good book instead of pills.

Therapists work with health agencies to identify who would benefit from reading sessions to overcome stress.

'Important work'

Library manager Catherine Morris, who launched the project, said: "The scheme is a lifeline for some people at a very difficult time in their lives.

"We are glad that the money has been found to continue this very important work.

"It is acknowledgement that the methods work and a tribute to the efforts and hard work of the bibliotherapists who deliver the service."

In the five years that the scheme has been running 2000 group reading sessions have taken place, 350 one-to-one sessions have been held and more than 150 new participants join the service each year.



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