It’s often cold, dark, and gloomy in the winter.
The weather leaves a mark on many, and is the cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, research in Ontario suggests that between 2 per cent and 3 per cent of the general population may have SAD, while another 15 per cent have a less severe experience described as the “winter blues.”
To assist Torontonians suffering from SAD, the Toronto Public Library has launched a pilot program allowing users to access light therapy lamps.
— TorontoPublicLibrary (@torontolibrary) February 7, 2017
Light therapy is an effective and safe treatment for SAD, according to the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychiatry.
“Light therapy lamps are designed to mimic spring and summer light levels as a way to treat the “winter blues” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression with symptoms that include fatigue, lethargy, anxiety, weight gain and sleep disorders,” states the Library’s website.
Because light therapy lamps can be expensive to purchase, this new service provides all Torontonians the opportunity to use light therapy if they need it.
For those looking to try out the lamps, they are stationed in each branch for use in the library and are available on a first-come, first served basis.
And in case you’re wondering, no, the lamps cannot be taken out of the library.