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21/09/2015 Launch of “Read Your Mind” Book Project

Read your Mind

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Ciaran Brogan at the launch of Read Your Mind book project  


Jigsaw Donegal in partnership with Donegal County Library Service, The Health Promotion and Improvement Department and The National Office of Suicide Prevention launched its “Read Your Mind” book project on Tuesday 15th September in the Central Library in Letterkenny.


The “Read Your Mind” book project was launched by Dr Tony Bates, CEO and Founder of Headstrong along with  Eileen Burgess , County Librarian and Divisional Manager of Cultural Services with Donegal County Council, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Councillor Ciaran Brogan and Ms Anne Sheridan of the HSE’s Health Promotion and Improvement Service. Young people from the Jigsaw Donegal Youth Advisory Panel and Donegal Youth Council were also involved in the project and MC’d the day.


Dr Tony Bates, CEO of Headstrong spoke movingly at the launch. “This bibliotherapy project recognises our love and our need of stories. Not just the tales of fantasy and adventure that take us away from reality, but real life stories that can empower us to face difficult realities.  The books that have been highlighted in this series contain gems of wisdom that real people discovered in dark places. I am amazed at the care that’s been given by everyone concerned in the choice of recommended reading. They touch into a wide spectrum of human experience and offer wise and practical ways to cope. ..Reading opens our mind to many different coping tools, including some that we might never have considered. This allows to reader to pick and choose coping skills that appeal to them and that might be just what they need.  I think this initiative by Jigsaw Donegal and Donegal County Library Service also opens up and deepens our understanding of mental health. Until we appreciate what our mental health is, we won’t know how to look after it.”


“Read Your Mind” is a catalogue of books on mental health topics to help meet the needs of young people. The catalogue is divided into two sections, books for under 18s and over 18s where topics such as Stress Management, Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness and Eating Disorders are included in the collection. Young people, their parents and friends can access this collection at 13 libraries throughout the County. The libraries in Letterkenny, Ballybofey, Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Bundoran, Carndonagh, Donegal Town, Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair, Leabharlann Phobail na Rosann, Lifford, Milford, Moville and Raphoe are all participating in this innovative scheme.


Bibliotherapy involves the use of reading material for therapeutic purposes. The term applies to a wide range of reading materials and is used to denote any form of directed reading which may serve to empower young people as they begin to educate themselves on a variety of Mental Health topics. The effectiveness of bibliotherapy has been well established and self-help books are now recognised as providing a valuable understanding of and support for emotional, social and relationship difficulties.


“With the success of this project in Offaly, we are very excited to bring the “Read Your Mind” book project to the young people of Donegal” Maureen Kerr, Donegal County Library Service said, “Donegal County Library Service is delighted to be involved in the Read Your Mind book project in partnership with Jigsaw Donegal and the HSE.  We look forward to continuing our partnership, and working to develop this service for the young people of Donegal and making it a success.”


Anne Sheridan, HSE Health Promotion and Improvement Service added, “This is a project that offers young people another way to support their mental health and wellbeing. Books can provide young readers with a great opportunity to learn from the experience of others and also to learn practical ways to cope with a range of difficulties and challenges which they can then put into practice in their own lives.”


Jigsaw Donegal is a community based mental health service for young people aged between 15 – 25yrs. Jigsaw is a prevention and early intervention service and provide free, confidential, brief and effective mental health support for young people.


For more information on Jigsaw Donegal or on the “Read Your Mind” project, please visit our website on







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