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A contemporary approach to health care

Our traditional "fix it" approach to healthcare focuses on asking, "what's the matter with you?" However, up to 50% of our health and wellbeing relates to "social determinants"1; the "what matters TO you" in someone's life. This might be friendships, community, a sense of purpose. 

Poor social health often leads to chronic disease, depression and even suicide. Helping people to address the root cause of ill health, rather than their symptoms, makes for a great approach to recovery. That's what social prescribing does.

How effective is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is now a global movement evidencing real results; for example, it has been fully integrated into the UK's National Health Service for example.

Studies show it has been able to reduce chronic disease, depression and suicidal behaviour, reliance on medication and substance abuse. It improves social confidence, physical and mental wellbeing, sense of purpose and health self management.2

Photo of three women chatting over lunch

Did you know?

  • You are almost three times more likely to overcome depression if you have a hobby.3
  • One in five patient visits to the GP are for issues that could be classed as 'non-medical'.4
  • Simple lifestyle changes can be as effective as advances in medicine.5
  • Social connections are the greatest protector against mortality. But as individuals, we rank them the least important.6

Want to know more?

As part of the global social prescribing movement, our team have curated research, case studies and alliances that we'd love to share. If you'd like to learn more or how you could get involved, just fill in the form below.

Jo Winwood

Head of Be Someone For Someone

0475 970 763

You can simply call Jo, or you can fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch right back.

References

  1. W.H.O https://www.who.int/health-topics/social-determinants-of-health#tab=tab_1
  2. Social Prescribing A rapid literature review to inform primary care policy in Australia. Yvonne Zurynski, Alex Vedovi, K-lynn Smith
  3. University College London, Fancourt D, Opher S, de Oliveira C. Fixed-effects analyses of timevarying associations between hobbies and depression in a longitudinal cohort study: support for social prescribing? Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2020;89:111–3.
  4. Citizens Advice Bureau. A very general practice: how much time do GPs spend on issues other than health? London: Citizens Advice Bureau; 2015.
  5. Ornish D. We should remember that simple lifestyle changes can be as effective as advances in medicine. College of Medicine and Integrated Health, 2020. https://collegeofmedicine.org.uk/deanornish-we-should-remember-that-simple-lifestyle-changes-can-beas-effective-as-advances-in-medicine
  6. Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith ,J. Bradley Layton Published: July 27, 2010: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316