New book prescription service rolled out in Wales

‘Bibliotherapy’, a new service from GPs enabling them to ‘prescribe’ self-help books is being implemented in all authority areas across Wales.

The service will allow GPs to use bibliotherapy to treat a range of mild mental health disorders including: depression, anxiety, social phobia, panic, anger, stress, low self-esteem, eating disorders and obsessive compulsive problems.

The book prescription programme is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and the General Practitioners Committee (Wales). It follows from the NICE guidelines, set out in February 2004, which recommend bibliotherapy as a first treatment for bulimia/binge eating disorders.

The treatment will be free for everyone and will be reviewed in two years to analyse effectiveness.