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Today is the third annual Social Prescribing Link Worker Day!

This year’s theme focuses on the role that Social Prescribing Link Workers play in creatively disrupting inequalities and powering-up integrated care.

We know that the challenges in our lives can have a big impact on our mental health. If we are having issues with housing, financial worries, or difficulties in our personal relationships, for example – all of this can contribute to mental ill-health.

Treating someone’s depression, anxiety, or stress, without addressing the practical issues that are contributing to it, may not be the kind of well-rounded support they want or need.

People with a number of needs (such as housing issues, long-term health conditions, or financial trouble) often find it more difficult to access the mental health support that they need.

Severe mental illnesses, such as psychosis, are up to 15 times higher among people who are homeless compared to the general population [1].

Social Prescribing Link Workers play a key role in tackling these inequalities, by connecting people with the different kinds of support available in their communities. Link Workers work closely with the people they support, helping them to come up with a plan for how to overcome the areas of difficulty in their life, to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Social Prescribing Link Workers will play a huge role in the NHS community mental health transformation, which aims to create a more integrated system of care by breaking down the barriers between existing services. The goal is to create a more joined-up, collaborative system of health and wellbeing support.

Although link workers are a relatively new addition to the NHS, Mental Health Concern has been pioneering this role for a number of years now.

Here’s what two of our Social Prescribing Link Workers have to say about they work they do, and why they find it so rewarding.

 

The impact of social prescribing is huge. We asked some of the people we support in our Together in a Crisis service how social prescribing has impacted their lives.

What was life like before you started using our service?

 

How have things changed since you started using the service?

 

What is the most important way that this service helps you?

 

If you could describe the service in three words, what would they be?

 

We want to celebrate the amazing work that our Link Workers do every day and highlight the incredible impact this has on people’s lives.

If you would like to learn more about Social Prescribing and Link Workers, the National Association of Link Workers is holding a virtual conference on 8 October.

[1] www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-reducing-health-inequalities-in-mental-illness/health-matters-reducing-health-inequalities-in-mental-illness

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