What Is Social Prescribing?
Social prescribing is a way of referring people to a range of non-clinical services at the Centre and in the community. It complements medical treatments and seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. This approach goes beyond treating illness and seeks to reduce social isolation and loneliness and increase overall physical and emotional well-being.
Social prescribing is an approach to combining clinical and social care that is:
- Person-centred: Individuals are viewed as a whole person with unique goals, passions and gifts, in addition to their complex needs;
- Strength-based: People are encouraged and supported to share their unique gifts by participating in peer-support groups, volunteering, and even leading groups. In this way, they can take a more active role in managing their own health;
- Co-created: Individuals work together with their providers and other members of their care team to design a social care plan that meets their needs and uses their gifts, and to put their plan into action;
- Community-led: Social prescribing helps build individual and community resilience by supporting people to become more connected to their communities and peers.
In 2019, the Centre participated in an innovative, year-long Social Prescribing Pilot with the Alliance for Healthier Communities, along with 10 other Community Health Centres (CHCs) across Ontario. Three key findings were identified:
- Participants reported overall improvements to their mental health, greater capacity to self-manage their health, less loneliness, and a stronger sense of connectedness and belonging.
- Healthcare providers found social prescribing useful for improving their clients’ well-being and decreasing repeat visits.
- Social prescribing led to more integration between clinical care, other professional teams, and social support; and it enhanced the capacity of the community by working better together.
How Can I Get Involved?
At the Centre, we invite clients and community members to become volunteers to gift their time and talents. They work alongside staff to identity gaps and create solutions that serve our clients and community. Our volunteers have already developed several new initiatives including:
- Craft Workshops
- Learning to Live Again – Life Beyond Grief
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Walking Clubs
Everyone is welcome!
For more information about current programs that have been developed through social prescribing, including dates and times of upcoming sessions, check our Events Calendar.
If you’d like more information about these new programs or would like to become involved as a volunteer, please call Elaine, Health Promoter, at 613-962-0000.