What is Social Prescription?
Visiting a museum to admire beautiful things is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. New research reveals that this type of experience also holds potential to impact our health and wellbeing. Studies show that people living with depression, chronic pain, anxiety and stress can reduce their symptoms when they feel more connected to their communities.
A museum visit is just one example of what a social prescription can look like. Social prescriptions allow healthcare, community and social service professionals to refer people to non-medical treatment as therapeutic tools for improving health and wellbeing. A social prescription is monitored, just like a medical prescription, and aims to reduce symptoms anddecrease doctor and hospital visits.
“Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes per day.”
Loneliness is a major health threat. People with a weak sense of community belonging are more likely to be in the top 5% of healthcare service users, accounting for more than 50% of total healthcare spending.