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Libraries to provide Stepping Stones to Good Health
Wednesday 11th May, 2005

Problems getting to sleep? Stressed at work? Feeling Low? Well maybe your local library has the answer. The ‘Stepping Stones to Good Mental Health’ initiative is launched this week (May 11th) the aim of which is to provide people across the borough with the opportunity to get advise about mental health issues from their local library.

Initially being introduced at Leigh Library, the partnership scheme between Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), the 5 Boroughs Partnership and Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust, means that libraries will be fully equipped with a wide range of self-help guide books containing information on mental health conditions. All library staff are also undergoing mental health awareness training that will enable them to offer informed signposting to relevant services.

“Stepping Stones means that people who have mental health concerns but who may have difficulty talking to their GP about them for whatever reason will be able to get valuable information and advise through their library,” says Anne Turner, WLCT’s Access and Inclusion Officer for libraries. “The library service is first and foremost an information post. We are not trying to replace the doctor’s surgery, however we want to offer people access to vital information that in a constructive way will offer some initial help with any mental health issues they are having to deal with.”

Stepping Stones is part of a two-pronged assault on mental illness across the borough. The Primary Care Trust is also launching a website ‘wiganinmind’ that will offer confidential support for individuals experiencing common mental health problems.

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