This July we’re encouraging you to try something new!
Have you ever heard the term social prescription? The concept is becoming more widely embraced as an effective part of chronic disease management. Social prescription is all about improving health and wellbeing outside of medical intervention.
We know that chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and depression can impact almost all areas of a person’s life, and so it can take more than a clinical team to help manage medical conditions.
Social prescription can include community activities that may be creative or artistic such as choir or craft workshops; physical activities like aqua aerobics or yoga; or educational programs such as cooking or computer lessons. It can also include community support services, from financial support to church groups. It’s about finding people, spaces and activities that inspire us to live a healthy, connected and fulfilled life.
Why is social prescription important?
There are so many factors that impact health and chronic conditions. The quality of our sleep, the strength of our support network, our activity levels and even finances can play a role. Stress, for example, can have a physiological impact on things like blood pressure and glucose management.
A medical team will address the physical aspects of patient care; however, they cannot treat all the factors that are affecting an individual’s health. A GP won’t prescribe a drug for financial overwhelm; nor can a nurse apply treatment for feelings of isolation or lack of purpose.
Combining medical assistance with a social prescription that’s right for the individual offers the best chance at successfully managing overall health and wellness.
Start your prescription
Getting involved in your local community can be daunting if you haven’t done that kind of thing before, but Try July is the perfect time to get started. Will you rise to the challenge and find the courage to try a new activity that interests you? It could begin with a phone call to a friend inviting them to head to that cooking class. It could look like finally trying out that meditation group you have been wanting to go to – and why not bring a loved one along? You might just make a connection, have a laugh, learn something, and improve your health and wellbeing.
How could you change your world by being brave enough to try something new this Try July?
Harmonee Dove, Practice Manager and Exercise Physiologist
VERMA, M.; PUNYANI, H.; KALRA, S. Social prescription in diabetes. JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, [s. l.], v. 70, n. 3, p. 552–553, 2020
Mahut ME, Fortune D. Social Prescribing and Therapeutic Recreation: Making the Connection. Therapeutic Recreation Journal. 2021;55(2):135-149