Libraries step up to help support medical practitioners

Published: 31 May 2023

With the launch of an exciting new collection, Mackay Regional Council Libraries are helping health professionals in our region to provide specialised resources to their patients.

Mayor Greg Williamson said Words for Wellbeing was a professionally curated collection of quality-assured resources endorsed by local health experts.

“Words for Wellbeing has been successfully launched in the Lockyer Valley and Townsville and has proven to be a great resource for medical professionals and patients,” Mayor Williamson said.

“The collection is freely available from libraries for patients, carers and health professionals and aims to support people in understanding and managing a range of mental and physical health issues,” he said.

“It’s all about increasing health literacy skills, self-management capacity, resilience and social inclusion.”

Mayor Williamson said the Mackay Regional Council Libraries team had seen the opportunity to adapt Words of Wellbeing locally and had approached Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) with the idea of a partnership.

“NQPHN have been instrumental in the creation of this collection, and we have had a lot of support from medical professionals who can see the benefits of this resource,” he said.

NQPHN Mackay Executive Director Health System Integration and Innovation Karin Barron said Words for Wellbeing was an excellent way for libraries to take some of the strain off the local health system.

“Often patients leave a medical appointment with a diagnosis and realise they have a lot of follow-up questions, so they find themselves searching for quality information,” Ms Barron said.

“With Words for Wellbeing, the health professional recommends appropriate books from the Words for Wellbeing collection and talks to the patient briefly about reading to improve their knowledge of their health condition.

“From there, they visit a council library and borrow or order the book.

“They read the book and think about what they can do to improve their health, based on their health professional’s advice and further information gained by reading the book, then they take action and make behaviour changes with the support of their health professional.

“The biggest advantage is that these books are endorsed by local health professionals and provide patients with trustworthy sources to understand mental health conditions and learn about chronic disease prevention and management.”

Words for Wellbeing is available now from Mackay Regional Council Library branches.

Residents are encouraged to ask their health professionals for a reading list that suits them.


NQPHN is an independent not for profit organisation, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. NQPHN aims to improve health outcomes for all by working with GPs, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, allied health professionals, secondary care providers, hospitals, and the wider community. Across northern Queensland, from St Lawrence in the south coast, up to the Torres Strait in the north, and west to Croydon and Kowanyama, NQPHN commissions primary and preventative health care – that is, the health care that takes place outside of a hospital – to help ensure North Queensland communities live happier, healthier, and longer lives. For more information on NQPHN, visit