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A society of readers

Author(s)

HILHORST Sacha, LOCKEY Alan, SPEIGHT Tom

Publisher(s):

DEMOS

Publication year:

2018

This report, commissioned by The Reading Agency, assesses the potential of reading to tackle the issues of loneliness, mental health problems, dementia and lack of social mobility. It looks at evidence in three short literature reviews and highlights findings from reading initiatives. It also forecasts the scale of the challenge posed by an increase in loneliness, mental health problems and dementia over the next decade without effective intervention. Findings from literature reviews suggest that reading can help to combat the growing issue of loneliness, as well as acting as a tool to protect future generations from the loneliness and can also improve common symptoms of both depression and dementia. It concludes by setting out thirteen practical reading-based policies that suggest how the Government can make the most of readings potential. These include for the Government to invest £200 million in using reading to combat loneliness and for more book-based interventions as part of a social prescribing strategy for mental health and dementia. (Edited publisher abstract)


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