People from across Northern Ireland are coming together to celebrate the benefits of Social Prescribing, the holistic approach to health taken by the Health service in Northern Ireland.
Peninsula Healthy Living Partnership is part of the £3.5 million SPRING Social Prescribing project, funded by the National Lottery and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. The health project aims to reduce pressure on GPs while improving the health and wellbeing of patients across Northern Ireland.
Social prescribing creates a link between the health service and the community. Social Prescribing enables a GP or Primary Health Care professional to refer patients who suffer from; social isolation, low mood, mild depression, chronic pain, long term conditions or physical inactivity to community support programmes and activities.
Sheila Bailie, Manager, said: “We provide patients with one to one community support for a range of emotional or practical needs. Social prescribing empowers people to make decisions about their own health and connects them to suitable programmes and services in the community such as; social cafes, relaxation classes, counselling sessions, swimming lessons or exercise programmes.
Kathy Cairns, Social Prescriber said, “It is this community approach which makes a difference to peoples’ lives, with the overall aim of taking the pressure of GPs and providing holistic care for the individual.”
Sarah Huggett, Social Prescriber said, “It is really empowering when you assist someone who is struggling with their mental or physical health and see them thrive”.
Peninsula Healthy Living Partnership will join GPs, health care professionals, medical students and community groups to celebrate the importance and significance of Social Prescribing in Health care.