At some point in our lives, we may all be faced with an issue or concern that affects our health or well-being.  It can be a worrying and isolating time, but having easy access to information, and gaining a greater understanding of the condition, can make all the difference.

Dr You is a new initiative aimed at supporting people to take control of their health and well-being.  The project, a partnership between the Comhairles library service, NHS Western Isles and local health organisations, provides books and information on health issues and concerns, available through the branch and mobile libraries across the isles.

The collections of self-help books cover a range of mental health issues, such as depression, stress, eating disorders and low self-esteem and aim to provide support and guidance to give sufferers support to manage their conditions.  The collections also contain books on physical health ailments such as cancer, dementia, multiple sclerosis and stroke and are aimed at providing information and strategies for coping for both sufferers and families.  There are books for children and young people as well, providing support for them and their families in dealing with the challenges of living with autism and other developmental difficulties. 

The topics covered in the Dr You collection were identified in discussion with local medical and health practitioners, who also recommended many of the titles.  It was important that the Dr You books reflected the needs of local communities and contained titles that were known to be useful. While the books can be helpful on their own, it is recommended that they are used along with the support of a health professional.

Anyone wanting to borrow one of the Dr You books can do so by visiting their local library or arranging a visit from the mobile library service.  It is free to become a member of the library and to borrow books, simply bring along some proof of address when you visit.  If a book isnt immediately available, it can easily be reserved.  Those wanting to find out more about Dr You and see a full list of the books available can visit www.cne-siar.gov.uk/library for more information. 

Dr You is a partnership between Comhairle nan Eilean Siars Public Library Service and Department of Education & Childrens Services; NHS Western Isles Health Information & Resources Service, Community Psychiatric Nursing Service, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Team and Macmillan Nursing Service; Advocacy Western Isles; Western Isles Association for Mental Health; Western Isles Community Care Forum and Alzheimer Scotland (Lewis & Harris Services).  Dr You was funded by the Scottish Government through the support of the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).