A NEW campaign is set to launch to help tackle loneliness and support mental health as we continue to come out of lockdown restrictions.

The "read, talk, share" campaign will see every library in Southend be provided with books to help support mental health for children, young people and adults.

The initiative aims to demonstrate the power of reading to support and connect isolated individuals as well as the benefits of reading for mental health.

The books have been chosen by health experts and people living with mental health conditions, along with the help of children and families.

Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism said: "People often underestimate the power of books. They give readers an opportunity to take their mind off what has been an extremely challenging year, and the ‘Read, Talk, Share’ campaign provides essential reading for all ages.

"I urge anyone who may have struggled emotionally over the past year or so to consider reading the books, which have been expertly chosen to help those suffering with their health and wellbeing.”