Video: Shelf Help to manage teen mental health

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Ben Salmons, founder of the Break the Stigma campaign
Watch the video featuring Ben Salmons, founder of the Break the Stigma campaign

Shelf Help

The founder of an NHS-backed mental health initiative has thrown his support behind the launch of the Reading Well for Young People: Shelf Help scheme in libraries across Bedfordshire.

Central Bedfordshire Libraries has teamed up with Ben Salmons and his Break the Stigma campaign to produce a video highlighting the benefits of a series of expert-endorsed books, available to borrow for free, to help teenagers manage their mental health, wellbeing and emotional resilience.

WATCH the video.

This is at a time when one in 10 young people (13-18) have a diagnosable mental health condition and the reading list of 35 titles – which has been selected by health professionals and co-created by a team of young people who have lived with mental health conditions – covers 12 topics and conditions including anxiety, depression, self-harm, body image and eating disorders, as well as life experiences such as bullying. The booklist features non-fiction, information and self-help material as well as memoirs, graphic novels and fiction.

In the video Ben – who created the Break the Stigma initiative to help people understand more about mental health and to tackle common misconceptions – explains why he thinks the Shelf Help books can be such a useful source of support and advice for young people and their parents.

He also talks about his experiences of seeking help and how that led to creating his Break the Stigma campaign.

The Shelf Help collections are located at libraries in:

The collection is also available on request.


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