LIBRARIES in the Wokingham borough are introducing children to books in the hopes of educating them on mental health.

The council’s plan is to provide access to 33 books for children aged seven to 11 years old, focussing on topics such as grief, anxiety, bullying and staying safe online.

It is hoped the latest project will educating the students on mental health, the issues surrounding mental health, and the importance of good mental health.

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The books are based around key stage two reading ability and include titles available to read for all children, including novels such as ‘Sometimes I Feel Sad’ by Tom Alexander, ‘All Birds Have Anxiety’ by Kathy Hoopmann, ‘M is for Autism’ by The Students of Limpsfield Grange School and Vicky Martin and many other informative and entertaining titles.

The Reading Agency chief executive Karen Napier said: “At The Reading Agency, we believe in the proven power of reading to tackle life’s big challenges, including the challenge we all face of managing our mental health and wellbeing.

“This new and important area of our work will support all children, including the one in eight who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, with using quality-assured information, advice and stories all approved by experts.”

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Councillor Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “Reading can be a very powerful tool and we hope, by providing our children these books within our libraries, they will feel more comfortable raising issues that may concern them and encourage them to talk about their feelings with their parents and carers,

“We will also be hosting a family session at Wokingham Library during children’s mental health week where families can come and learn techniques to stay calm and relax.

“There will be games, stretching, breathing exercises and lots more for you and your child to enjoy and to help improve their sleep, concentration, self-esteem and confidence.”

Wokingham Library’s Relax Kids Session is taking place today, February 4, at 4:45pm for school-aged children. Participation will cost £1, and bookings can be made by calling 0118 978 1368.