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"Nobody in Guildford and Waverley has to go through lockdown alone"

3 minute read
"Nobody in Guildford and Waverley has to go through lockdown alone"

Published by Lettie Buxton at 6:00am 24th May 2020.

A scheme which provides emotional and practical support to people who are isolated or struggling during the coronavirus lockdown is available in the Guildford and Waverley area.

Social prescribing offers non-medical and individual help to those members of the community who are experiencing loneliness, anxiety and other pressures.

In the same way that a patient with a prescription can get their medication from a pharmacist, social prescribing enables people to access the services that will help them.

It is a way for local authorities, GPs, and adult social care to refer people to a link worker.

Social prescribing link workers give people time, helping them to focus on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

It works for a wide range of people, including those:

  • With one or more long-term conditions
  • Who need support with their mental health
  • Who are lonely or isolated
  • Who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Link workers provide practical help by linking people with local volunteer schemes or NHS responders.

They can also give emotional support as they make regular welfare calls to their ‘clients’, as well as linking those in need to community-based emotional support, befriending services and mental health support services.

Despite the current restrictions, social prescribing can still enable people to access regular activities like social groups and exercise classes, the only difference is that rather than face-to-face it will be carried out virtually.

As today (24 May) marks the last day of Mental Health Awareness Week, Jane Soothill, social prescribing link worker, told Eagle Radio about why it is so important:

"We can all suffer with our mental health and particularly in this sort of situation.

"Everybody is susceptible to having some sort of concern about their mental health.

"It's so important to reach out and to talk about it, and to reach out for the support that is available to anybody who needs it.

"The real message - and this is important - from social prescribing is that nobody in Guildford and Waverley has to go through lockdown alone.

"That's the real message, that social prescribing is here for everybody over the age of 18."