Social prescribing

Many things affect our health and wellbeing – including our finances, social environment or what’s going on at home. 

Where social or personal pressures take their toll on your health you might go to your GP for help. But these problems cannot be fixed by medicine, or doctors, alone. 

That’s where social prescribing can help. Social prescribing can connect you to practical and emotional community support, through social prescribing link workers, based in GP practices. The link worker will talk to you to understand what matters to you and the type of support you need. They will work with you to agree a plan and introduce you to community support. 

This help could be activities and support that are usually provided by voluntary and community  organisations. Examples include volunteering, arts and sports activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice, and housing and financial advice.  

Social prescribing can especially help people who: 

  • feel lonely or isolated 

  • have complex or long-term health or social needs that affect their wellbeing 

  • need support with their mental health. 

Social prescribing organisations 

You can also get practical and wellbeing support by going direct to a ‘one-stop’ service that will link you to local organisations that can help you.   

  • If you live in Hertfordshire, HertsHelp provides a single point of access to a network of community organisations. They will listen and help you find independent support, guidance and information you need to get the most out of life.  Call 0300 123 4044 or email Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm or Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. 

  • The Essex Wellbeing Service provides health and wellbeing support to Essex residents aged 16 and over who are registered with a GP. The service is delivered by an alliance of specialist organisations and can link people with a range of support to help them stay healthy, safe and well. Call 0300 303 9988 or email Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm or Saturday 10am to 2pm.