Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 13.53.50Mental or emotional health issues can affect anyone, in our everyday lives and especially at difficult times. North Yorkshire libraries are marking Mental Health Awareness Week, from 16 to 22 May, by highlighting the many ways in which libraries can help people to maintain good mental health.

During the week, libraries throughout the county will display their Reading Well collections. These books have been selected by experts in mental health and are free to borrow from libraries.

The Reading Well collection is aimed at adults and the issues covered include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, sleep problems, OCD, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, obsessions and compulsions, phobias, worry and panic.

In addition, Shelf Help is a collection of books designed to help young people with their mental health. The books cover issues such as ADHD, anxiety, body image and eating disorders, bullying and OCD. They offer a gentle way to find out more or can be used as part of a programme of support from a health worker.

Mood Boosting books is a collection of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction, that are recommended by readers and reading groups. The lists of Mood Boosting books can be found online at reading-well.org.uk/books/mood-boosting-books and the books can be found in libraries throughout North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Library and Information Services, said: “Any one of us at any time in our lives may have issues with our mental health.  I am delighted that libraries are playing an important part in helping people to improve their mental wellbeing, not only by providing books with information and advice but also by offering safe spaces for people to relax and engage with others.”

Events in North Yorkshire Libraries during Mental Health Awareness Week

Community coffee morning at Harrogate, Thursday 19 May, 10am to 1pm, colouring café, cake and refreshment stall, manned displays from local organisations.

Drop-in Dementia Information Event at Northallerton library, Monday 16 May, 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Drop-in Dementia Information sessions run by the Alzheimer’s Society at: Malton library, morning of Tuesday 17 May; Filey library, Wednesday 18 May, 10am to 2pm; and Scarborough library, Thursday 19 May.

Become a Dementia Friend at a free Dementia Friends information session at Northallerton library, Thursday 19 May, 11am to noon. Contact the library to book a place.

Reminiscence sessions, come and chat about times past at Sherburn library, 16 May, 2pm; Selby library, 19 May, 10.30am; Catterick library, 23 May, 1.30pm.

Join the Sporting Memories group for a cup of tea and sport-related chat and activity, Northallerton library, Thursday 19 May, 11am to noon.

Whitby library is holding a slide show of old Whitby pictures and asking people to share their memories by filling in a speech bubble and creating a “share your memories display”, Saturday 14 May, 10am to noon.

Malton library holds a “mindfulness week” with colouring and jigsaws available.

Eastfield library has an information course on legal highs, Thursday 12 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm. There will also be free health checks available at this event.

At Skipton library, Janice Smith from Making Space, an organisation that provides specialist dementia care and support to hundreds of people across the country, will hold a drop-in dementia awareness session, Monday 23 May, 11am to 12.30pm.

At Scarborough library, the local Alzheimer’s Society will hold a Dementia Friends session in the concert hall on Wednesday 18 May, 10am to noon. On Thursday 19 May staff from the Alzheimer’s Society will have a manned display in the library.