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I don't know if there's anything similar in the U.S. but in the U.K. there's an organisation called RAYS...Reading And You Scheme. This is to promote relaxation, well being and friendship through reading and books. It's called biblotherapy and helps people with, for example, severe depression, through their problems by introducing them to books. You'd be surprised how many people simply don't read and therefore don't know of its enormous benefits. I first heard about them a few years ago at a literary lunch. A woman, Anne, came up to me to tell me she had a message for me from one of her clients. Anne was a bibliotherapist who had recommended my sagas to this client. My sagas are all about people (mainly women) who go through incredible hardships but come out smiling in the end. Obviously it's all a product of my imagination but it's also a form of therapy, according to Anne. I told her I found this hard to believe and that my books were more likely to drive people to drink. But on the contrary, she had bumped into this client in the street and asked how she was going on. The client said she was much better now and that, and I quote, 'Ken McCoy got me through the worst of it'. She asked Anne to thank me if ever she came across me.

Can you imagine what a kick I got out of that! My writing actually helped someone get better. I always considered writing to be simply an entertainment but it can be more than that, it can help people who are ill. I've since given talks to some of these organisations but sadly, due to governments cuts, many of these bibliotherapists have been made redundant (Including Anne). Some have survived the cuts and good luck to them.
 
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