News: Depressed? British doctors to prescribe mood-boosting books

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News: Depressed? British doctors to prescribe mood-boosting books

Frances Hodgson Burnett isn't just one of my favourite authors. According to a new program, she's also my therapist.

The Secret Garden is one of 27 mood-boosting books that will be recommended to patients in Britain suffering from mild depression, anxiety and stress, as part of the "Books on Prescription" program from British charity, The Reading Agency.

Health professionals will recommend books from the list, along with prescriptions for self-help books, in the hopes that it will help those with mental illness.

"There is strong evidence from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) that self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, sometimes on its own or with other forms of treatment," the Reading Agency website says.

Starting in May, a list of recommended books will be included on a leaflet distributed by doctors, who can prescribe books the same way they would pills. The list includes everything from classics like Cider with Rosie and The Secret Garden, to fantasy fiction like Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy, reports the Daily Mail.

Until then, I know what I'll be doing to beat the winter blues.

What do you think of this program? Do you think Canada should institute a similar initiative?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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