A bunch of medical types in the county of Devon, apparently. They honestly think they've stumbled onto something new:
Doctors usually send patients to the pharmacy to get
medication, but from tomorrow GPs in one county will
be packing people off to the library with prescriptions
for self-help books. Those with symptoms of depression,
anxiety or eating disorders will be referred to clinics
where they will be prescribed books to read alongside
support sessions with graduate mental health care
The scheme in Devon, which is the first of its kind in
the UK, aims to cut waiting lists for more serious
cases, reduce over-prescription of drugs and offer
some form of treatment for patients who may
otherwise receive none.
That's right, folks, and you read it here first: the idea that self-help books can actually, uh, help> people is just now occurring to the Brits.
The chosen books aim to help those suffering from
depression, anxiety, bereavement and eating
disorders, as well as victims of child abuse. The
initiative, which has been welcomed by some
charities, will begin in Devon tomorrow but is
likely to spread across the country.
Wow. And the next thing we know, it'll spread to the Colonies. People everywhere will start buying self-help books!
New prescription for mental health: read a good book
All right, I'll stop tweaking the Brits. Although I'm sure they can take it. They are, after all, the people who produced that master of satire, P. G. Wodehouse. I dare you to read one of his "Jeeves" stories and not laugh.
Which brings me to the question of the day: What books do you reach for when you're blue?