Doctors to prescribe mental self-help books

DOCTORS will be able to prescribe self-help books instead of pills for patients with psychological problems under a new scheme launched in Dublin yesterday.

The scheme — the first of its kind in Ireland — allows people suffering from depression, anxiety and other psychological problems the opportunity to take the non-medical route to recovery.

It was developed by the Health Service Executive’ North Inner City Partnership in Primary Care in association with Dublin City Libraries.

Up to now, the only treatment available for most people living in the locality was medication because of severe limitations in the provision of psychological therapies at primary care level.

Elaine Martin, senior psychologist with the HSE North Inner Partnership, said: “We are hoping GPs will feel confident about prescribing the books for patients because they are of the highest quality and do work.”

A person can go to any of the listed libraries, hand in their prescription and get the relevant book as well as automatic library membership.

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