Reading to Live Well
British Library, London
17th May 9am – 5pm

Reading really does make you feel better, particularly when it’s shared.

Exploring this topic is The Reader Organisation’s Reading to Live Well Conference, at the British Library (Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB) on Thursday 17th May 2012, 9am – 5pm.

The conference features a number of acclaimed health professionals, academics and writers from the UK and USA, plus The Reader Organisation’s own experienced staff. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Iona Heath, President of the Royal College of GPs
  • Jonathan Rose, William R Kenan Professor of History, Drew University, USA, and author of The Intellectual Life of The British Working Classes
  • Nick Broughton, Medical Director, West London Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Professor Phil Davis, Director, Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems, University of Liverpool
  • Lemn Sissay, award-winning poet and the first to write for the Olympics 2012
  • Fiona Johnstone, Director of Public Health, NHS Wirral
  • Erwin James, writer and Guardian journalist
  • Beverley Humphrey, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Trust

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Why shared reading works:
    • in community locations – libraries, GP surgeries, community centres, hostels
    • in in-patient mental health locations – low, medium and high secure
    • in criminal justice locations – prisons and probation centres
    • for people living with dementia – in care homes and in the community
    • for young people – particularly for looked-after children
  • How to set up a shared reading project in your organisation/borough
  • How reading literature helps medical professionals in their practice
  • Academic research into the practice of shared reading groups

The conference will uniquely bring together professionals working across a variety of public, third and private sector organisations – those commissioning, delivering, researching, referring or funding services – who want to learn how the pioneering ‘Get Into Reading’ project can help support and engage individuals to improve wellbeing, improve the morale and motivation of staff involved, and promote the importance of great literature.

The Reader Organisation’s shared reading project, Get Into Reading, has been the subject of a study which investigated ‘the therapeutic benefits of shared reading in relation to depression and well-being’, conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Liverpool, funded by Liverpool Primary Care Trust.  The study found “statistically significant improvements in the mental health of depressed participants” – particularly when groups took place in community locations. The report also highlighted that groups enhance emotional and psychological wellbeing, and provide vital stability and support.

Dr David Fearnley, Medical Director, Mersey Care NHS Trust (RCPsych ‘Psychiatrist of the Year 2009’), says: “Get Into Reading is one of the most significant developments to have taken place in mental health practice in the last ten years.”

The Reading to Live Well conference is being held at the British Library (Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB) on Thursday 17th May 2012, 9am – 5pm. The conference costs £199 (inclusive of VAT and including lunch and refreshments). Book online or contact Helen Vaughan on 0151 207 7228.


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