Country Roads Community Health Centre
What is Social Prescribing?
Social Prescribing is an approach which links clients to non-clinical services crucial to optimal health and wellbeing while building connections and a sense of belonging in their community.
What does Social Prescribing look like at Country Roads Community Health Centre?
Our Social Prescribing Team reduces healthcare costs by linking people to social supports that underly their health problems and reduces reliance on medical services. In our program, the Navigator receives a social prescription referral for a non-medical issue that is currently or possibly could lead to ill-health.
The Navigator co-creates personalized solutions with each client based on self-identified needs and interests and serves as the connection between clinical providers and community resources.
Throughout the navigation process the client learns how to identify, prioritize and self-advocate for their needs.
Focusing on and strengthening communities through supporting access to supportive resources is the purpose of our Social Prescribing Team.
What could a social prescription look like?
Housing and financial stability along with food security and mental wellness are amongst the most common determinants referred to the Social Prescribing Team. Navigators facilitate a linking of clients to supports required for a healthy lifestyle.
These supports could include services and linkages to informal and formal supports such as Good Food Boxes, community gardens, clubs, and groups to develop interests, support groups, form completion, and volunteer opportunities.
Social Prescribing takes on a ‘no door is the wrong door’ approach and assists in navigating through many doors to find the best suited answer.
Why is Social Prescribing needed?
Loneliness and social isolation have both been identified as significant health threats resulting in a higher usage of systems. Social Prescribing connects clients to resources and supports within their community reducing these threats.
Social Prescribing will increase the connectedness to social and community services for non-health related issues, from social isolation and loneliness to physical activity, food security and housing.
The impact of Social Prescribing:
Capacity is built within the community to better support its most vulnerable and marginalized populations and partnerships, whether formal or informal, are created to address the gaps. The benefit to the health systems is a reduction in cost and resources. The benefit to the client is improved health, a sense of community belonging and lower risk for health-related issues caused by poor relationships and lack of connectedness.
Provincially Social Prescribing has generated evidence for improved wellbeing through participants reporting reduced social isolation, increased connectedness to community, improved sense of belonging, and a renewed sense of confidence and purpose.
Clients feel empowered to personalize their care, take greater control of their own health, and engage in their community.
Whole population approaches to supporting people of all ages to manage their physical and mental health and wellbeing helps to build community resilience and empowers people with complex needs to have greater choice and control over the care they receive and how it is offered in their community.
Want to learn more?
Visit https://www.crchc.on.ca/community-programs/client-navigation/ to find out more or connect with a Social Prescribing team member at 613-272-3302