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Libraries on Prescription

Project title

Συνταγογράφηση Βιβλιοθηκών

Description of initiative

Libraries on Prescription programme will engage with more than 30 Libraries and 200 Library and PSS professionals in Greece over a period of 24 months to change the way they work and increase their organisations’ impact, resilience and sustainability.
The organisers aim to connect the health and creative sector through a collaborative approach, in order to design a system that is more collaborative, open, innovative and people-centred and remove stigma around mental health particularly in rural communities. In this respect, they aim to define a social prescribing program for people who have long-term health problems, complex social needs, and mental health challenges.

• Reach and support the whole community regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status or educational attainment.
• Create a Culture of Caring
• Provide space where groups can come together and enjoy activities that are co-designed with local people, to meet their needs.
• Offer local health support services available through ‘community hubs’, bringing together different partners’ offerings in a seamless way.
• Create safe, welcoming and accessible physical and virtual environments freely open to all, which encourage participation, creativity and mutual learning and support.
• Help local government and its partners deliver their strategic objectives, whether linked to community cohesion, health and wellbeing, economic growth, promoting independent living or increasing life chances.

Athens Comics Library will be working in partnership with E.P.A.P.S.Y. aiming to offer an alternative model of psychosocial care to the community based on the principles of Social Psychiatry and Psychosocial Rehabilitation.

For Libraries on Prescription the organisers have selected 4 Libraries across Greece:

1) Patras University Library - target group: young people, students

2) Psychiko Municipality, Athens, Public Library of Organisation for Solidarity, Culture and Sports - target group: people with learning difficulties

3) Rapsani Municipality, Larissa, Public Library - target group: elderly women in rural Greece

4) Ayia, Crete, Prison Library - target group: prisoners

Athens Comics Library will first pilot the Programme working together with Refugee Week Greece, designing and delivering a Programme of "Stand Up Comedy" and storytelling for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers facing mental health challenges.

Through the Programme organisers will ignite the creation of a Libraries of Sanctuary network - a network of librarians, library staff, community groups and book lovers. We will monitor together with E.P.A.P.S.Y. closely the well-being and mental health of all participants including the staff team.

Further information on the initiative

Themes: Culture and...

Individual well-being
Community well-being
Mental health
Quality of services for specific groups


mental health, libraries, arts on prescription, community, resilience, trauma

Target group

Not targeted to a specific group

Cultural field

Literature | Multimedia, new media, digital | Other | Visual arts | Writing




Sept 2023 - May 2024

Sources of funding

European Cultural Foundation

Results, benefits, impact and lessons learnt

Through the programme the organizers expect to achieve the following legacy outcomes:
• To encourage a safe and equitable space for sharing knowledge, experiences and motivation within health and cultural organisations
• To share common values, motivation and goals for the commitment of museum professionals to actively engage with matters of health, care and wellness by holding space and nurturing a spirit of openness, a common vision narrative, exchange of information and dialogue
• To encourage personal and health growth for all participants with validated data of health improvement by their doctors and PSS professionals
• To explore opportunities for creative use of comics as a tool of communication, wellness and community building
• To help break the stigma around mental health
• To understand the impact and value of arts and libraries to act as community safe spaces for education, trauma relief and community engagement
• To change the mentality around mental health and clinical practises
• To create and maintain an impactful network of Libraries of Sanctuary across Greece
• Target groups and beneficiaries
• Library professionals and cultural managers
• Freelance mid-career librarians and cultural managers as well as freelance mental health professionals working in the wider arts and health sector, who are interested to learn more and specialise in the arts and health field.
• Freelance mid-career community health workers and municipality staff, who are interested to learn more and specialise in the arts and health field.
• Health services and PSS professionals
• Humanitarian and PSS organisations and staff
• Policy and decision makers at a national, regional and local level; Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health, regional and local authorities, local authorities, municipalities
• People experiencing mental health issues due to covid19, displacement, natural disasters, health complications and other
• Communities across Greece - the wider public


Athens Comics Library
NGO / Non-profit | Other


NGO / Non-profit | Health