Introducing Social Prescribing
WHAT IS IT?
Many things affect our health and well-being. GPs tell us that a lot of people visit them feeling isolated or lonely. Or they might be stressed out by work, money or housing problems. Sometimes it may be the stress of managing a long-term condition.
That is where Social Prescribing comes in. It starts with a conversation. It might be the conversation you have just had with your doctor, or with another person in the practice team. They will refer you to a Social Prescribing Link Worker.
The Link Worker is there to listen to you and put you in touch with the people and activities that might help you to feel better.
Your Link Worker could introduce you to a community group, a new activity such as volunteering or a local club. They might help you find legal advice or debt counselling. They might just help you find information and guidance: a bit of inside knowledge on your situation or what local resources there are. They could even support you to create something new such as a walking group, sports club, gardening club, a fishing group, a ‘men’s shed’ lunch or knit and natter group.
Social Prescribing can help you to gain more control over your own health and find ways to improve how you feel in a way that suits you.
It is open to everyone, whatever your age, gender, circumstances or background.
Studies show that people get better and feel better faster than those treated with medicine alone. And because it works, it is happening more and more – including here on The Fylde Coast.
For more information about Social Prescribing speak to your GP Practice.
‘I needed to get out of the house and meet other people. I’d only been involved with Military life previously and that was all I knew. I moved to Blackpool and have had to start my life again – this has meant making new links in education, volunteering etc. It’s really been worth it.’
‘It’s built my confidence and got me doing more things. I’ve met loads of new people who are like me and in a similar situation to myself.’
‘I volunteer more for myself and to gain experience of being involved in my community. Before I started volunteering, I had nothing, I had just been on the dole since I left school.’
‘The VA have always been helpful. I always know they’re there.’
‘I became involved due to a request to help other Dads who were in a similar situation I found myself in. I had previously had a lot of difficulties in gaining access to my daughter and had lost hope at many points. The mental health effects and feelings of hopelessness were extreme – I just wanted to show Dads that there is a way to deal with the feelings they have and that they can resolve the situations they’re in. I wanted other Dads to know that they’re not alone – there are lots of Dads out there who are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in.’
‘I think volunteering has helped me grow at great bond with my daughter.’
‘Volunteering has helped me to meet new people and help other people effectively. It has helped me to learn new skills.’
‘I have undergone a steep learning curve and learned so many new things – I didn’t realise before the true extent of deprivation and its effects in Blackpool. The Learning to Feed course also taught me statistics that shocked me regarding the number of babies admitted to hospital with upper Gastrointestinal problems and Gastroenteritis.
‘I have made new connections in the Grange Family Hub and at the Volunteer Academy and I think I will continue to do so now that I have done the Learn 2 Feed Course and can get out in the community.’