Mother Kimie Knowles and her son Kai aged 2 at Martenscroft (cor) Nursery School and Children's centre in Hulme, Manchester.

Today is World Mental Health Day, encouraging mental health awareness and getting people talking about it.

Manchester is already leading the way in supporting good mental health in the workplace – the theme of this year’s’s World Mental Health Day.

The city is home to one of the first businesses in the north west to appoint a qualified Mental Health First Aider, and today another initiative is launched.

The Take 10 reading initiative, part of the Read Manchester campaign organised by Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, wants to encourage people to start a daily reading habit.

Recent research by the National Literacy Trust found that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to have good mental wellbeing than children who don’t. This applies to grown-ups, too. Among adults, research has found that regular readers for pleasure are less likely to experience feelings of stress and depression than non-readers.

And apparently just 10 minutes of reading can make a difference.

Kicking things off, the Lord Mayor will join an event at Manchester Central Library, where young people from Manchester’s Writing Squad will unveil their Take 10-inspired writing as part of Manchester Literature Festival.

13 local libraries across the city have re-launched their Shelf Help collections as part of National Libraries Week, which is wellbeing-themed for this year. And today also sees 16 representatives from Manchester Airport visit Haveley Hey Primary School to read to pupils, sharing the airport’s new 80th birthday book, Reach for the Sky, with them.

Take 10 is set to make a big impact on young people, with books being gifted to parents and children and Shelf Help Collections launching in nine schools thanks to Read Manchester.

And local businesses will also come together to support Take 10 and learn about the Feeling Good Collection – 20 mood-boosting books about common mental health conditions. Ten businesses are set offer this collection to their staff in a pilot project too.

“We are delighted to launch the exciting Take 10 initiative in Manchester to celebrate the huge benefits that regular reading can bring to both children and adults,” said National Literacy Trust director Jonathan Douglas. 

“We know that reading for just 10 minutes a day is enough to have impact on a child’s learning. Now our new report highlights how the benefits of reading go beyond attainment, helping children to feel happier and more satisfied with their lives.” 

FIND OUT MORE

What's on your mind?