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social prescribing

How Social Prescribing Helps Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Social prescribing is an approach that addresses practical, social, and emotional needs affecting the health and well-being of individuals. It is an ever-evolving solution gaining recognition for its ability to support individuals on their journeys to better health. 

Among those reaping the benefits are the individuals we serve, including refugees, asylum seekers, and the BAME community, whose path towards resilience and integration is often marked by unique challenges. Let’s explore how social prescribing changes lives and nurtures well-being in the face of adversity.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing is the gateway to a world of possibilities, connecting individuals with activities, groups, and services that have the potential to enhance their health and overall well-being. This innovative approach, recognized by the NHS in 2023, allows healthcare professionals, educators, and others to refer individuals to a dedicated social prescribing service. 

Source: Kendel/Pexels

Often, Link Workers step in as a guiding hand, crafting a tailored social prescription. These Link Workers empower individuals to take charge of their health and well-being. Together, they set goals and ensure that the prescribed activities fit perfectly. 

For instance, joining a vibrant walking group to boost physical activity and alleviate the impact of long-term health conditions or immersing oneself in the therapeutic world of gardening to reduce anxiety and enhance mental well-being.

Benefits of Social Prescribing 

The evidence is clear: social prescribing has numerous positive health and well-being outcomes. These encompass elevated quality of life, enhanced mental and overall well-being, and a notable reduction in levels of depression and anxiety.

Social Prescribing Fosters a Sense of Belonging

As you may know, embracing a new homeland is like stepping into uncharted territory for individuals. Social prescribing is not only about medical referrals; it helps them navigate their way into the heart of local communities. 

Source: Alexandra/ Pexels

By facilitating cultural exchange events, connecting newcomers with welcoming neighbours, and encouraging participation in community projects, it forges bonds that transcend borders. Moreover, through these connections, individuals not only find a supportive network but also become ambassadors of their unique culture, embracing their new environment.

Social Prescribing Improves Mental Health and Overall Well-being

While the scars that refugees and asylum seekers carry are not visible, their impact is profound. Social prescribing becomes a sanctuary for emotional healing. It does not just hand out prescriptions; it provides the emotional scaffolding necessary for rebuilding lives.

From counselling and trauma-informed support groups to art therapy and mindfulness workshops, it offers various services to help individuals conquer their inner battles. So, social prescribing is not just about surviving; it is about thriving, one step at a time, on the path to renewed mental well-being and resilience.

Social Prescribing Promotes Skill Development and Employment

Finding a foothold in a new land needs more than just a job; it demands potential and dreams realization. Social prescribing opens the door to skill development programs that can empower refugees and asylum seekers to embrace their passions and talents.

Source: Alerna Darmel/ Pexels

From vocational training tailored to their interests to apprenticeships and job placement services, it is a transformative journey that reshapes their career path. Social prescribing may not guarantee landing a job; it sure unlocks doors to a brighter future, where individuals can achieve their aspirations and contribute meaningfully to their host communities. 

What Needs to Change Now

Our findings call for more than incremental change; they demand a strategic revolution. It is time to reimagine social prescribing as more than a prescription pad. At Caring and Sharing, we envision a future where every refugee, asylum seeker, and individual from the BAME community can access the support they need precisely when they need it.

By extending the possibilities to include outdoor adventures, we provide a holistic prescription for well-being that nurtures the body and soul. We are not just making suggestions; we are painting a vision of a brighter, more resilient tomorrow!