Healing by library book in Taranaki

16:00, Oct 17 2011
Dale Cousens from Turn the Page
HEALTHY READ: Dale Cousens, of Puke Ariki, attributes Turn the Page's success to its simplicity to use.

The Turn the Page wellness programme, which opened in North Taranaki this month, will be launched in Central and South Taranaki in a few weeks.

Andrew Brock, community relationship manager of Midlands Health, said it had always been the intention to launch the programme throughout Taranaki.

Turn the Page works by having self-help books, that have been compiled by psychologists and counsellors, prescribed to patients by their GPs. The patients then go to Puke Ariki or any other district library to borrow the book for free.

"It's just another tool for GPs to use," Mr Brock said.

"We were just waiting to get the systems in place and have the libraries purchase the books and get themselves ready," he said.

The collaboration of LikeMinds, Midlands Health and Puke Ariki is aimed at people who have mild to moderate mental illness.

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Puke Ariki's service delivery manager, Dale Cousens, said the books were being read.

"It's so simple. People can come in and do it themselves and we're also here to help if they need it," Ms Cousens said.

LikeMinds manager Gordon Hudson said the programme had proved popular.

"The books have been in demand," he said.

Mr Hudson attributed the success of Turn the Page to enthusiasm.

"Everyone in Taranaki has been very enthusiastic about it and it's a very simple programme. A lot of good ideas come about but they don't work because the people are not enthusiastic about it," he said.

Mental illness was a huge issue in New Zealand. "One in two people would be diagnosed in their lifetime," he said.

Taranaki Daily News