Bibliotherapy for mental health service users Part 2: a survey of psychiatric libraries in the UK

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Aims and objectives:

UK health policy advocates a patient-centred approach to patient care. Library services could serve the rehabilitation needs of mental health service users through bibliotherapy (the use of written, audio or e-learning materials to provide therapeutic support). Part 2 of this two-part paper assesses the views of psychiatric libraries in the UK on providing access to service users and possible services provided.


An e-mail questionnaire survey of psychiatric library members of the psychiatric lending co-operative scheme (n = 100) obtained a response rate of 55%, mostly from libraries based in hospitals.


At present, libraries funded by the health service provide minimal facilities for service users. Librarians are uncertain about the benefits and practicalities of providing access to service users.


In order to implement change, information providers across the National Health Service (NHS) will need to work collaboratively to overcome attitudinal and institutional barriers, including the key issue of funding.

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