Social Prescribing: a new way to feel better
We all strive to feel better, especially when life’s challenges weigh on our physical, mental, or emotional well-being. Often, we turn to healthcare professionals, hoping for a medication that can make things right. But what if there’s another way to improve our well-being, one that doesn’t rely solely on medical interventions, which may not always be the best fit for our unique situations?
That’s where social prescribing steps in. Social prescribing is a form of treatment that revolves around understanding what truly matters to you. It’s about working hand in hand with a healthcare professional known as a social prescribing link worker to identify solutions and create a personalised plan designed just for you. Social prescribing recognises that many of the challenges we face in life aren’t purely medical; they’re influenced by social, environmental, and personal factors. By addressing these factors through social prescribing, we can enhance our health and well-being in a holistic and lasting manner.
The purpose of any treatment is to help us feel better, and social prescribing is no exception. It’s a form of treatment that has proven to make people who need it feel better, addressing issues that may not necessarily require medical intervention. When we experience changes in our physical, mental, or emotional well-being, seeking support from healthcare facilities is a natural response. It’s not a plea for unnecessary medicalisation but a call for appropriate and effective care.
While social prescribing isn’t a new concept, it’s gained prominence recently, particularly in the UK. In England, the National Health Service (NHS) launched a universal social prescribing programme in 2019, ensuring access to social prescribing link workers in every general practice. The NHS acknowledges that social prescribing can assist individuals dealing with various issues, including loneliness, isolation, anxiety, depression, stress, low self-esteem, chronic pain, and more. It can also empower those with long-term conditions or disabilities to manage their health and live independently.
Social prescribing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, nor is it a replacement for medical care. Instead, it complements traditional healthcare by providing holistic support tailored to individual needs, preferences, and goals. It empowers people to live their best lives and gives people TIME.
Social prescribing is a new way to feel better. Further information:
- The Transformative Effect of Social Prescribing
- Social Prescribing: what’s in it for patients
- The Key Role of Social Prescribers in Tackling Over-Medicalization and Poor Mental Health