Brampton Library is offering curated materials for mental health support as the community continues to cope with the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of these materials includes bibliotherapy, a mental health support that involves reading and journaling to help those participating confront their own struggles.
“Many readers might already engage in bibliotherapy without realizing it,” said Jen Sloane, branch librarian at Brampton Library’s South West Branch and its bibliotherapy project lead.
‘When you read a book and reflect on the experiences, thoughts and emotions that you share with the characters, you start to empathize and become open to potential solutions. That’s the heart of bibliotherapy: using books as a lens to look at our own problems and begin the healing process.”
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Reported benefits of bibliotherapy include increased positive feelings that promote problem-solving, heightened compassion and enhanced self-awareness.
It is a useful tool for all ages and its effects are particularly beneficial for children, who may have difficulty identifying and expressing emotions.
Additionally, bibliotherapy normalizes mental health issues and is a great relaxation technique that provides a distraction from worrying thoughts.
After selecting a title from Brampton Library’s bibliotherapy collection, readers are encouraged to keep a journal handy and identify moments to reflect on related experiences as they progress through the book.
While all Brampton Library Branches remain closed until further notice, their book return dropboxes are open and curbside pickup service is in the works.
For bibliotherapy tips, check out this recent blog post from Brampton Library’s website.
To apply for a library card online, click here.