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Books for Health 

Many people will experience or encounter emotional or psychological difficulties during their lifetime. Evidence suggests that high quality self-help books can be very beneficial in the healing process of mild to medium illnesses.

Read Your Mind book project

The demands of modern life can often place a heavy psychological burden on teenagers and young adults. Following feedback on potential supports that could be made available to address this, Jigsaw Donegal approached the Library Service with a view to replicating an already successful Read Your Mind project which was launched in Offaly in November 2014.

The Read Your Mind book project promotes bibliotherapy which involves the use of reading material for therapeutic purposes. The effectiveness of bibliotherapy has been well established and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) UK as a useful start in the recovery journey.

Donegal County library and Jigsaw Donegal, supported by the HSE, worked on reviewing and updating the book list originally developed in Offaly to support young people’s mental health. The Read Your Mind Donegal catalogue now includes audio books and a number of titles are available as an e-book to borrow through the library website. Library membership and borrowing is free.

Books for under 18s cover the topics of stress management, mindfulness, substance abuse, anxiety management, eating disorders, resilience, loss, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. Books for over 18s cover the topics of abuse, addiction, anger, anxiety, autism and Asperger Syndrome, bereavement and loss, bullying, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, eating disorders, loneliness, mental health, relationships, schizophrenia, self-esteem and assertiveness, and stress.

Young people, their parents and friends can access and borrow titles from the Read Your Mind collection through our network of libraries and Taobh Tíre centres across County Donegal or as an e-book through the library website.

The Read Your Mind book project is a collaboration between Jigsaw Donegal including a sub-group of young people from the Jigsaw Donegal Youth Advisory Panel and Donegal Youth Council, Donegal County Library Service, The Health Promotion and Improvement Department and the National Office for Suicide Prevention.


The Power of Words  - Recommended Books

Following a number of pilot projects, The Power of Words: Bibliotherapy scheme has been set up with the HSE and Donegal County Library Service to help you find books that can offer information and support.

The books listed have been recommended by psychologists, counsellors and psychoterapists working in Ireland. All titles are available through Donegal libraries and are available to borrow free of charge. Library staff will ensure total confidentiality.

Topics addressed in the books include depression, anxiety, stress, anger, bereavement, additction, abuse as well as parenting difficulties and much more.

• Overcoming anger and irritability, Will Davies

• Overcoming anxiety, Helen Kennerley
• How to stop worrying, Frank Tallis
• Overcoming social anxiety and shyness, Gillian Butler

• The courage to grieve, Judy Tatelbaum
• Finding a way through when someone close has died: a workbook by young people for young people, Pat Mood and Lesley Whittaker
• Beyond the rough rock: Supporting a child who has been bereaved by suicide (child-friendly), Diana Stubbs and Julie Stokes

• Bullying: A parent's guide, Jennifer Thompson
• How to handle bullies, teasers and other meanies (for children), Kate Cohen Posie

Child sexual abuse (Adult survivors)
• Breaking free: Help for survivors of child sexual abuse, Carolyn Ainscough

• Depression: The common sense approach, Tony Bates
• Coping with post-natal depression, Sandra L. Wheatley
• Coping with depression in young people: a guide for parents, Carol Fitzpatrick and John Sharry

Obsessions and compulsions
• Overcoming obsessive compulsive disorder, David Veale and Rob Willson

• When panic attacks, Aine Tubridy

• Parent power - bringing up responsible children and teenagers, John Sharry
• How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
• STEP: Parenting Series, Donald Dinkmeyer, Gary D. McKay et al.
• The incredible years - a troubleshooting guide for parents of children aged 2-8 years, Carolyn Webster Stratton
• How to get your kid to eat. . . but not too much, Ellyn Satter

Practical Psychotherapy
• Change for the better: Selfhelp through practical psychotherapy, Elizabeth Wilde 

• The feeling good handbook, David Burns
• Overcoming low self-esteem, Melanie Fennell

Separation and Divorce
• Dinosaurs divorce: A guide for changing families, Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
• When parents separate: Helping your children cope, John Sharry, Peter Reid and Eugene Donohue

• The relaxation and stress reduction workbook, Martha Davis, Elisabeth Robbins Eshelman and Matthew McKay
• Overcoming traumatic stress, Claudia Herbert and Ann Wetmore


Use your library card and PIN, request/reserve a title (or several titles) online today.