Reading in Mind

– a resource for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues

Pegasus Health Primary Health Care Organisation (PHO), the Christchurch City Libraries (CCLs) and the Mental Health Education Resource Centre (MHERC) worked in collaboration to develop Reading In Mind – a mental health book scheme for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues.

The idea to develop the scheme in Canterbury was first presented to Pegasus’ Community Board. With the Board’s support and encouragement, a small working group was formed, which included: Pegasus’ Population Health Specialist, Health Promotion Specialist, Clinical Leader Mental Health and Clinical Leader Population Health, two senior CCL librarians, and MHERC’s Centre Director and senior librarian.

Together, the working group developed the scheme with its primary purpose being to encourage and empower people with mild to moderate mental health issues to better manage their own mental health and well being. The scheme makes use of existing library and health service infrastructure, and promotes the services available at CCLs and at MHERC. HealthInfo hosts the scheme’s webpage,, and associated book list links.

Reading in Mind

  • promotes the benefits of reading for mental health and wellbeing
  • encourages people to access books and other resources available at CCLs, and MHERC
  • supports people to better self-manage their health and well being.

Reading in Mind offers patients and health professionals an additional resource for treating mild to moderate mental health issues through providing a list of recommended books on a wide range of common mental health issues like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and worry.

The Reading in Mind scheme is for people of all ages and backgrounds experiencing common, mild to moderate, mental health issues. It is also for those looking to support family or friends who are experiencing mental health issues.

Books on the Reading in Mind book lists have been recommended by mental health professionals, mental health service providers, Christchurch-based mental health organisations, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, MHERC and the CCLs. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals, the CCLs and MHERC.  

The book list will be reviewed by the working group and updated annually by the scheme manager to ensure newly recommended books are included. Feedback on the books from readers, health professionals and librarians, will also be considered in the annual review of the book list.

Reading in Mind is being promoted by the Canterbury PHOs, Canterbury General Practices (including those members of Christchurch and Rural PHOs), CCLs (and the rural Canterbury libraries) and MHERC, and by some other community-based health and support service providers.

Patients may be told about the scheme by their health provider during a consultation or may ask their health provider about the scheme during consultation, having seen the poster in the clinic waiting room or hospital. Others may learn of the scheme at their local library or through MHERC. Health providers and librarians will guide those interested to the Reading in Mind webpage located on the HealthInfo website. They may also help in the selection of a book from the book list. Readers may want to discuss the book they read with their health provider or librarian. Readers are invited to give feedback on the books and their experience using the scheme to the scheme manager, or librarian.  

If you have any questions about Reading in Mind, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Pegasus Health),  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Jane Keenan (Christchurch City Librarians), or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at MHERC, who are all part of the working group in developing and maintaining the scheme.

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