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Social prescribing for mental health: a guide to commissioning and delivery

Author(s)

FRIEDLI Lynne

Publisher(s):

Care Services Improvement Partnership. North West Development Centre

This guidance describes the use of non-medical interventions, sometimes called ‘social prescribing’ or ‘community referral’, to improve mental health and wellbeing. Social prescribing supports improved access both to psychological treatments and to interventions addressing the wider determinants of mental health. It can contribute to greater awareness of the relative contribution to mental wellbeing of individual psychological skills and attributes (e.g. autonomy, positive affect and self-efficacy) and the circumstances of people’s lives: housing, employment, income and status. The guide: examines the benefits of social prescribing; outlines the policy context and evidence base for social prescribing; gives guidance on commissioning social prescribing; provides information on interventions and how to deliver social prescribing; and describes the findings of a social prescribing development project commissioned by Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) North West. Overall, the guidance aims to support localities in developing, implementing and evaluating social prescribing schemes, with a special focus on mental health and wellbeing. The report recommends that social prescribing is made available as part of prevention and early intervention within primary care, and also to support recovery from severe mental distress. (Edited publisher abstract)

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