A NEW wellbeing service has been launched in Bromsgrove district to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week which runs until today.
Bromsgrove District Council, Onside and Bromsgrove PCN have introduced the new Social Prescribing Service.
It will see four new Social Prescribing Link Workers across the area – Jennifer Murray, Antonia Whitlock, Rebecca McGrory, and Timothy Bird.
The service is designed to help residents back to normality after the challenges of the past year.
Social Prescribing is a means of connecting residents with a link worker through a self-referral process. The link worker then provides them with a face-to-face conversation during which they can learn about activities in their communities and design their own personalised solutions to life struggles.
Recent research found one in five people went to their GP with non-medical issues which can be helped through schemes like Social Prescribing instead.
A study also shows within three to four years, Social Prescribing schemes had reduced the pressures on GP appointments by up to 40%.
Jennifer said: “Whilst we are all excited for restrictions to lift, it’s completely normal to feel anxious about this too and once again people will have to adapt to another ‘new normal’ which can be hard.
“I am looking forward to giving one-to-one support, helping people increase their confidence, realise their potential, empower them to cope better with whatever life throws at them and improve their overall wellbeing.
“After the last year, it will be fantastic to support people to lead a happier and more enriched life.”
A ‘social prescription’ is provided so that people with social, emotional or practical needs are empowered to find solutions which will improve their health and wellbeing, often using services provided by the voluntary and community sector.
Antonia added: “During the pandemic and lockdown, we have all felt lonely and isolated at times, so I am looking forward to helping people to connect with their community and feel more confident about the future.
“Since starting this job, I have been amazed to find out how strong the sense of community is in Bromsgrove District and I am excited to help link people to what’s going on locally, so they can find new interests and make new friends.
“We are here to help guide people back to happier life in the wake of the pandemic.”
Social Prescribing is an innovative and growing movement, with the potential to reduce the financial burden on the NHS and particularly on primary care.
Onside is a local charity working across Worcestershire and Herefordshire, providing a wide range of support services to ensure fairness and equality for all members of the community who may be vulnerable, disadvantaged or discriminated against.