| Guest columnist
Mental health was one of the top concerns of residents completing Worthington’s Community Coronavirus Survey last August and September.
In response to these results, Worthington Libraries leaders are committed to offering programs and services to address mental-health needs.
In January, a three-part series called “Coping During COVID,” led by North Community Counseling Centers experts, was held via Zoom.
This month, patrons are invited to participate in the library system’s “Winter Reading and Wellness Challenge,” a bingo game meant to boost mental health.
Participants can brighten February’s gray winter days by spending some time doing activities to improve their attitudes, like taking a stretch break, giving the 4-7-8 breathing technique a try and naming three things for which they’re grateful.
Of course, the game includes a reading component. Patrons may fill in bingo blocks for listening to an audiobook, reading a book with a one-word title or one that was made into a TV show or movie.
Starting Feb. 1, participants can download a playing sheet at worthingtonlibraries.org or stop by any library location and ask for one. Call the curbside pickup number at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., and Worthington Park Library, 1389 Worthington Centre Drive, or at Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, at the drive-up window.
Completed playing sheets need not be returned, but participants are encouraged to share their progress – especially a bingo – on social media using the #wrwc hashtag.
The “Winter Reading and Wellness Challenge” playing sheet also includes a list of librarian-approved books and resources for all ages. There are books about reducing stress and staying calm and positive for teens and adults, and younger children can get an introduction to mindfulness and controlling emotions.
Hillary Kline is a communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.