Wellbeing Collection

This is a collection of books, aimed at ALL staff employed by PHE, or who are working in PHE locations. The books are chosen with the aim of supporting your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

What books are there?

We have a variety of books covering a number of topics. The range contains books on understanding dementia, help with caring for loved ones, books on coping with cancer, or many other diseases and long-term conditions. Books can be memoirs or sharing experiences, self-help, authoritative advice, or just a really good, uplifting story.

A full list of all the books is on the library catalogue.


Time to Talk Day 2020

Thursday 6th February is Time to Talk Day, an opportunity to talk and listen about mental health and wellbeing.
The wellbeing collection contains a selection of titles on mental health and wellbeing topics. A list of all our current mental health titles is available here. This includes self-help books (including CBT techniques), memoirs, and books on mindfulness, stress and sleep.
For more information on Time to Talk Day please visit the Time to Change website


Spotlight on

Jog On: How Running Saved My Life, by Bella Mackie

“This isn’t just a book about running, Bella Mackie explores mental health through her experience with anxiety and depression in an accessible, honest and engaging way. The book also discusses how exercise, in this case running, had a positive impact on the authors mental health.”

Recommended by Charlotte.



Do you have a book that you have enjoyed or found useful from the collection? Want to share a review? Let us know! Email: libraries@phe.gov.uk

New books in the collection: 

  • An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
  • The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha David et al. 


How do we choose the books?

Be reassured, we provide quality information!

The core of the collection is made up from the Reading Agency’s Reading Well lists:

  • Books on Prescription, including Reading Well for mental health, Reading Well for dementia, and Reading Well for long term conditions.
  • Mood Boosting Books – we have used the 2016 and the 2018 lists of books chosen and voted for by reading groups across the country. A full list of the Mood Boosting books within the collection can be found here

and the MacMillan Cancer Support core books list (May 2019). The Knowledge and Library Services hold a selection of books from the MacMillan list, which can be viewed on the library catalogue. A full web Directory of Information Materials for People Affected by Cancer can be found online here: http://publications.macmillan.org.uk/

Titles on all these lists are books which have been selected by health professionals, people living with the conditions, and their relatives and carers. 

However, we also like to hear from you!
Through your recommendations the collection has grown to include books on topics such as resilience, stress or health conditions which are not covered in the lists. We like to know what has helped you, so please let us know if you have any recommendations to add to the collection whether that be a single book or a topic area you feel is missing.
Knowledge and Library Services’ staff have also identified topics for inclusion and expanded the collection.


How can I get them?

Any member of PHE staff can visit a site library and borrow a book. Staff based on a site without a site library can email libraries@phe.gov.uk and have books posted to them.


Do you have books for parents to use with their children?

The Reading Agency has compiled a list of Books on Prescription resources for Young People’s Mental Health. There is also additional books listed in the Healthy Ireland book collection, which cover topics for parenting, children and young adults. The Knowledge and Library Services’ do not hold a majority of these titles, however, they can be found in your local public library. You can find your nearest local public library here.



We understand that borrowing books on personal issues can sometimes be embarrassing, and that it might imply personal information about you that you do not want disclosed. Please be reassured that we are librarians who stick to our professional code of conduct and also abide by GDPR. We are proud of this collection and we want it to work for you.

In the site libraries there are self-issue kiosks. The first time you use a kiosk you may need contact with a librarian to set up your log-in and password – after that you can borrow and return books pretty much anonymously!


More than books…

Whilst we love books, other resources are available for PHE staff to support your wellbeing. Please visit the My Wellbeing page on the intranet.



Resources and organisations referenced on this page are intended as a useful guide for information purposes only. Inclusion or exclusion of resources does therefore not signify that the Knowledge or Library Services endorses or does not endorse the activities of a particular organisation. The Knowledge and Library Services is not responsible for the information or services provided by external organisations. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email