Crista is our Social Prescriber.
The social prescribing link worker role has emerged over the past few years and has mainly been pioneered by voluntary sector organisations, working in partnership with GP practices and other referral agencies. Link workers are employed in non-clinical roles. They are recruited for their listening skills, empathy and ability to support people.
Social prescribing link workers help to reduce health inequalities by supporting people to unpick complex issues affecting their wellbeing. They enable people to have more control over their lives, develop skills and give their time to others, through involvement in community groups. Link workers visit people in their homes, where needed.
Social prescribing particularly works for a wide range of people, including people:
- 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
Crista can assist:
- Building on ‘what matters to me’, people can work with a link worker to coproduce a simple plan or a summary personalised care and support plan, based on the person’s assets, needs and preferences, as well as making the most of community and informal support.
- People, their families and carers may be physically introduced to community groups, so that they don’t have to make that first step to join a group and to meet new people on their own.
- People, their families and carers are encouraged to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence by being involved in local community groups and giving their time back to others. For some people, this may provide volunteering and work opportunities to help find paid employment.
- People, their families and carers may be supported to work with others to set up new community groups, particularly where gaps exist in local community support. • The sense of belonging that comes from being part of a community group and having peer support can reduce loneliness and anxiety. It helps people to find a new sense of purpose, enjoying activities they might not otherwise have tried before, such as arts, cultural activities, walking, running, gardening, singing and making connections to the outdoors.
- Being connected to community groups through social prescribing enables people to be more physically active and improves mental health, helping them to stay well for longer and lessen the impact of long-term conditions.
If you feel that Crista may be able to help you, please discuss this with your GP or a member of our Practice Team.