Personal Stories – supporting awareness of mental health

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Academic Librarian, Kirsty Bower, describes a project to expand Library collections to help support staff and students:

“To support mental health awareness events Library staff selected books from the main collection to support awareness around this subject. It soon became apparent that, as an academic institution, some of the books we offered may not appeal to everyone due to their clinical textbook approach. 

However, through working with other University, public and NHS Libraries, an opportunity recently came about to submit a request for additional external funding to develop our collection in this area. The aim was to develop a collection of titles which offered a more ‘personal’ account of dealing with a particular illness or condition.

But why would a University Library be interested in patient accounts of living with an illness – surely this is the remit of the Public Library? Our interest in the project was inspired by a request from a GP trainer who wanted to help her trainees to develop more understanding and empathy for their patients. The aim of the project is to encourage these necessary skills through making patient stories available in an academic setting to the next generation of healthcare staff at the outset of their training and education.

Fortunately we were successful in our bid, the result being the personal stories collection which highlights the personal impact of a particular illness, on individuals and their families (patient stories), rather than just the clinical diagnostic features of the condition or management techniques.

This collection is not solely aimed at Health students but all students to enable them to support a friend, family member, housemate or work colleague with a specific condition or illness.”

A sample of some of the titles can be seen below some of the titles are available to borrow now, some will be available within the next few weeks from the Library.

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