Social prescribing is an embedded service in primary health and general practice where doctors can refer patients to non-medical activities, ranging from health and fitness programs to movie clubs and meditation.
Social prescribing is receiving more attention globally as research shows that connecting patients to community groups and resources is effective in reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. This connection to activities and groups has been shown to motivate isolated people to find ways to participate more in social, cultural or physical activities.
Research has found that it holds great promise as a valuable addition to existing healthcare options but adoption in Australia has been limited.
Loneliness and social disconnection are hidden health risk factors, and as more Australians than ever before report experiencing loneliness, as a symptom of a more disconnected society and compounded by pandemic restrictions, health advocacy groups and clinicians are calling for initiatives to reduce the loneliness epidemic such as social prescribing.
There are many ways in which you can explore the social prescribing model. Within our local community, there are many free or low costs community activities and a wide range in community groups, sporting clubs, hobby groups and volunteers as well as some local support services to help people in need.
A list of links is provided below to help you start exploring options today.
Act Belong Commit locally – Volunteer clubs/associations
Free or low cost events calendars
Needing some immediate support?What is Social Prescribing (23 downloads)