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Keep the Heid and Read!

World Book Day 2022 (3 March ), sees the launch of a new Scotland-wide initiative to inspire and encourage people to read every day to boost their mental health and wellbeing.

A national reading moment, called ‘Keep the Heid and Read!’, will take place on Wednesday 11 May, during Mental Health Week (9-15 May 2022).  Readers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to pledge to read for just six minutes on 11 May – and they can read anything, from books and magazines to comics, graphic novels and blogs.

An online totaliser to count the overall reading time pledged by the nation will be launched next month, and people can sign up to get involved.

The reading campaign is led by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Scotland’s 32 public library services.

The idea was inspired by the post-lockdown plea for public libraries to reopen and the growing recognition that libraries play a valuable role in supporting mental health and wellbeing by connecting communities. 

It is taking place during Mental Health Week because of the known mental and emotional health benefits of reading.  Research shows that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress by 68 per cent*.  Establishing a regular reading habit has the biggest impact on mental health and wellbeing.

For more about this campaign, see the SLIC website.