Health & Wellbeing Community Referral
What is Health & Wellbeing Community Referral?
The HSE describes social prescribing as a means of enabling healthcare professionals and other professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services, primarily provided by the voluntary and community sector. The problems of social isolation, fear, and loneliness, often associated with inactivity, have negative consequences on health. These issues can particularly impact older age groups, chronic health problems, people with mental health difficulties and psychosocial needs, carers, single parents, migrant and immigrant and minority ethnic groups. Social prescribing began as a community-led movement that aspired to address these needs in a holistic way using a resource-based approach by empowering participants to improve their Health and Wellbeing.
The Health and Wellbeing Community Referral program, supports individuals with face-to-face conversations with a link-worker whereby they can learn about local opportunities to improve health & wellbeing and design personalised solutions that fit their needs, abilities and situation. This approach empowers people with social, emotional, or practical needs to find practical solutions with the support of a link worker.
Why Family Resource Centres? Family Resource Centres (FRCs) are ideally placed within their communities and offer a non-stigmatising safe and welcoming space. FRCs are easily accessible to individuals at higher risk of experiencing a poor mental health or those who need more general support to improve their quality of life and overall well-being.
Used by the wider community, FRCs are experienced in identifying and responding to individual needs to ensure timely referrals to specialist services or voluntary support. FRCs also offer a range of support groups and activities that can be accessed and signposted by the link workers.
The role of the National FRC Mental Health Promotion Project in Social Prescribing.
The FRC MHPP is the lead and support organisation for 6 Health and Wellbeing Community Referral Sites in Cork and Kerry. This is in partnership with Cork/Kerry HSE Health and Wellbeing initiative. The Link workers for this pilot project are currently based at Family Resource Centres in Adrigole, Ballincollig, Kenmare, Kerry Head (Ballyheigue), Mallow & Midleton.