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Light therapy lamps available at library

Trecia Schell, right, community services and branch librarian for the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, demonstrates the new light therapy lamps to community health board members Pat MacDonnell and Julie Martin.
Trecia Schell, right, community services and branch librarian for the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, demonstrates the new light therapy lamps to community health board members Pat MacDonnell and Julie Martin. - Contributed

Sometimes, the weather in the Maritimes can be a bit cloudy and drab. One of the best ways to deal with that is light therapy – now available at public libraries across Pictou County.
The campaign to put the new light therapy lamps in Pictou County libraries was inspired by the success of light therapy programs in Halifax Public Libraries, and the Antigonish Town and County Library.
Community Services Librarian Trecia Schell was instrumental in bringing the lamps to the area, forwarding a proposal to several community health boards.

Light therapy boxes, also called SAD lamps, use fluorescent lights to mimic the full-spectrum sunlight experienced outside on a bright spring day.

“Public libraries are great community places that are open, warm and welcoming, and barrier-free. Library programs and services encourage community wellness and support well-being for all (from the library’s PlayPacks for children to Nordic walking poles for adults). Having the therapy lights available at our local libraries for the public to come in and use is a perfect fit,” said Schell.

The Pictou West and Central and East Pictou Community Health Boards supported the purchase of six light therapy lamps, along with sponsorship from MacLean & Poulain Pharmacy First in Stellarton.

“CHBs serve a vital role in the well-being of our communities, helping to support many community-based projects and partnerships focused on health promotion and the social determinants of health,” said Julie Martin, co-chair of the Central & East Pictou Community Health Board.

“Partnering with our local library that has an accessible location in each of our communities is key to reaching people where they live.”

The lamps are free for patrons to use within the library branches. The suggested amount of time needed per day is 20-30 minutes. Since the lamps were installed last month, the feedback on the therapy lamps has been very positive. With the dark and dreary weather this spring many patrons are finding the extra dose of artificial sunshine very helpful to improve their mental health.

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