Studies have shown that older people who have close human connections and relationships not only live longer, but also cope better with health conditions and experience less depression.
Antonella Segre - Social Prescribing
Social Prescribing – An Old
Concept but a New Way
Antonella Segre - CEO
Purpose of Today
o Define Social Prescribing
o Demonstrate two community-based case
studies where social prescribing is resulting in:
Improved Community Wellbeing
Improved Mental Health Outcomes
Reduction in Social Exclusion
What is Social Prescribing?
What would it look like for the healthcare system
to see a patient as a whole person, instead of
focusing on just their medical diagnoses?
What if, along with medication, doctors and
nurse practitioners were enabled to prescribe
dance lessons, cooking classes, volunteer roles,
caregiver supports, single-parent groups, and
connections to bereavement networks?
A new WAY of thinking
about health care
Social prescribing is a structured way of referring people to
a range of local, non-clinical services.
It complements clinical treatments and seeks to address
people’s needs in a holistic way.
This asset-based approach goes beyond treating illnesses.
It recognizes people as not just patients with needs, but as
community members with gifts to share, while supporting
them to engage with and contribute back to their
It’s all about the Person
The social prescription should be an activity that is
in keeping with the individual’s interests in order
to enhance its benefits and individual adherence
These activities can then be combined with
appropriate medical treatment (if required) to
optimise chances of recovery, wellbeing and
overall quality of life.
Social Prescribing’s Connection to the
Sustainable Health Review
o Ageing population
o Chronic disease cost
o ED attendances on the rise
o Hospital admissions on the rise
o Fewest GPs per capita of all States
o Value for money
o Partnerships across sectors
o Technology and innovation
The CLB Program enables:
1. Clinicians/allied health/social workers
within the hospital system to prescribe
the most appropriate care, which may
be non-medical, by connecting patients,
families and carers to supports within
their community through the CLB
2. It enables patients and their families
to feel empowered in their choices and
best self manage their recovery
Social Inclusion as a determinant of mental health
o Growing body of evidence of the link between
social capital and mental health and wellbeing.
Studies identify that social support:
o strengthens mental health
o reduces depressive episodes
o has a protective effect on health
Community Link Booth Outcomes
THE PURPOSE OF THE MODEL
o to empower seniors to improve their quality of life by
creating meaningful long-term relationships with
other members of the community and finding a
sense of purpose and belonging.
o assist seniors in the early stages of dementia by
linking them to relevant support and activities they
can safely participate in.
o address isolation and suicide audiation
Link to seniors in isolation:
o Improved Community Wellbeing
o Improved Mental Health Outcomes
o Reduction in Social Exclusion
o Single Council | Low Cost | Volunteer Operated
Hand to Heart Outcomes
Home Visits 50
Seniors re-connected to community 30
68% of seniors were successfully reconnected back to
Both programs have established Good
Practice models that are scalable across all
councils within the state, with minimal
investment and meaningful outcomes.
Social Prescribing is Scalable
Key stakeholders to engage with to set up a social
o Health and Mental Health care workers
o Community and Neighbourhood centres
Partnerships and Collaboration in
LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY
Psychosocial problems impact on the health and wellbeing of
Primary care staff may feel overwhelmed and not equipped to
handle the psychosocial problems that primary care patients
The commonly available options for patients presenting
psychosocial problems are medication, psychotherapy (cognitive
behavioural therapy), and counselling.
Despite the potential benefits and policy attention, community,
voluntary, and social enterprise sector willingness to address the
wider determinants of health in primary care often remains
underused due to weak or non-existent links between the two
PARTNERSHIPS IS THE ANSWER