By Elizabeth Lee
THE Carlow/Kilkenny HSE Primary Care and Child Psychology Service has just launched a new guide entitled Mind your mind – a bibliotherapy initiative to promote emotional wellbeing.
‘Bibliotherapy’ refers to the use of books and written word to help with the self-management of emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. It’s often recommended by psychologists to empower people to address different issues they may be struggling with and to increase their overall sense of wellbeing.
The new booklet is aimed at helping parents, adolescents and children in the local community to find relevant reading for different difficulties they may be experiencing. The recommended reading guide has been compiled by local psychologists to empower parents and other members of the community to use books and online resources to help gain a deeper understanding of difficulties they may be facing and to learn skills and strategies to begin to tackle some of these issues themselves. The guide includes appropriate books or other written materials for children, adolescents and parents/caregivers with a simple summary of each book to help parents/caregivers choose which publication might best suit them or their child. Each book which is referenced is available to borrow free of charge from your local library and covers topics such as anxiety, low mood, self-esteem and wellbeing, bullying, child development, toileting, parenting, parental separation, bereavement and suicide, sleep, technology, gender/identity and LBGTQ+, ASD, emotions and trauma.
Mind your mind can be accessed through your local library, local resource centre or directly through the psychology service.
Dr Mark Fitzhenry, senior clinical psychologist in the Carlow Primary Care and Child Psychology Service, said of the initiative: “We are very excited to have developed a bibliotherapy guide which the public can easily access and use to help them begin to find available resources to understand and cope with concerns, with books listed to suit all ages. An important first step in addressing any difficulty is to deepen your understanding of that specific difficulty and reading is a very powerful medium through which to do this. We hope that this guide will be very useful to members of our community who may be struggling with their child’s behaviour or who want to find ways to address specific issues. Parents will find lots of useful recommended readings for both themselves and their child.”
Dr Fitzhenry also stated that this initiative would not have been possible without the collaboration of Carlow/Kilkenny Children and Young People’s Services Committee, Carlow County Library Service, Kilkenny County Library Service and Healthy Ireland.