Social Prescribing

Why the Switch2Move research has changed my view on ‘Social Prescription’ and how best to implement current programs into healthcare as well as social welfare domains.
The on-gong development of healthcare addresses peoples as more than their illness and focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses. The term ‘positive health’ is a word being used more often. For policymakers, the broad perception of ‘positive health’ is valuable as it bridges the gap between healthcare and the social domains. As such, it can be a key component in assisting the de-medicalization, offering alternative programs to be
integrated to address societal challenges.
What is ‘Social Prescription’: Social prescribing is a way to prescribe different health of wellness interventions to different patient groups, 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
After three years of research through Switch2Move, my conclusion and point of view has changed. When one considers England, Art on prescription works because basically the NHS is a single healthcare provider. However in the Netherlands there are about 60 different Health Insurance Companies. Resulting in 60 different policies, which would mean approaching all of them individually to get a specific intervention on prescription. I am not saying its impossible but logistically harder. So, my proposal would be more in line with starting a medical referral program. Result, depending on one’s personal package and insurance company, one could apply for coverage for one’s dance activates.
Therefore, I personally believe in finding Advocates/Linking-Persons from the professional world of Healthcare; from a medical professional to a healthcare provider.
We need good advocates in the medical and social welfare sectors. Linking-People who connect to what people want, to what really is important to them. We could use ‘Motivational interviewing’ for this, finding out what they would want to change. Possibly offering perspectives on what can be done. Even providing guidance to them when necessary. Equally important is being clear in describing what exactly the dance activity intervention is offering.
Conclusion: I believe we have much more work to do!
Andrew Greenwood
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