Following its announcement in the Government Work Plan, a Social Prescribing pilot scheme has officially been launched, offering islanders a ‘different kind of prescription’.
Bailiwick Social Prescribing is a non-clinical scheme funded in part by the Guernsey Community Foundation.
The initiative was first raised in the Government Work Plan, with a recruitment drive earlier this year for ‘Link Workers’.
These workers help people discover sources of non-medical support to tackle issues such as loneliness and problems with their lifestyle and home environment.
The aim is to get people who are suffering mentally back into the community to increase social connections.
Pictured: The pilot scheme will allow people to connect with various charities and services.
The pilot is a collaborative effort between the community, charities, the Health Improvement Commission, IslandHealth, the GCF, the Committee for Health and Social Care, and Public Health.
“The aims of Bailiwick Social Prescribing complement the Health Improvement Commission’s mission to enable, empower and encourage healthy living in Guernsey,” said Health Improvement Commission CEO, Dr Simon Sebire.
“It is critical to look at the wider causes of ill health, and social prescribing could be an important part of doing just this,” he said.
Link Workers will help patients get involved with various physical and social activities, depending on the person’s interests. This could be participation in art or music, horse-riding, singing or volunteering and conservation work.
A number of local organisations have partnered with the scheme, allowing Link Workers access to dozens of options for people.
Pictured: The scheme will help people lead healthier, happier lives, while developing stronger bonds with the community.
The initiative comes as Guernsey starts to step out from the fog of corona virus, and the spotlight has been firmly centred on tackling mental health issues.
“Whilst Guernsey celebrates a strong community spirit, GPs say that the pandemic has caused more people to become lonely, stressed, and isolated due to the lockdowns and social distancing,” said Bailiwick Social Prescribing Lead, Melissa Mitchell.
“Bailiwick Social Prescribing has the potential to support individuals to manage these needs without relying solely on medication, empowering people to take greater control of their own health,” she said.
To find out if you’re eligible for Social Prescribing you can ask your GP
Alternatively, you can also contact Victoria Hospital Incorporated if you find it hard to pay for doctor’s appointments. You can call the charity on 249942 or email email@example.com.
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