Social Prescribing in South Powys

Rhiannon Davies and Dawne Shepherd discuss the benefits and effectiveness of a Mind Cymru Project

Wednesday 18 September 2019, The Muse, Glamorgan Street, Brecon, 7pm, £5 (Friends/Members £2)

The Friends of Brecon and District Mind have invited Rhiannon Davies and Dawne Shepherd, Link Workers from Brecon and District Mind, to talk about its Social Prescribing Project. The centre was chosen by Mind Cymru as one of four local Minds to take part in an independently-evaluated research project. Started in spring 2019 and running for two years, this considers the benefits and effectiveness of Social Prescribing in supporting individuals with mild to moderate depression, anxiety and stress to take control of their own health and wellbeing. It is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Recognising that people’s health is determined by a range of factors, Social Prescribing seeks to address people’s needs holistically taking into account key ways to wellbeing – connecting, being active, taking notice, keeping learning, being creative and giving. The scheme offers support through voluntary and community sector organisations.

Examples include welfare and legal advice, housing adaptation, family connectedness, community-based wellbeing activities such as walking, arts and crafts, gardening, cookery and healthy eating advice, volunteering opportunities, group learning, non-clinical interventions including mindfulness and stress control and local Mind services and peer support groups.

Aimed at primary care patients from the age of eighteen, they may, typically, be frequently visiting their medical practice, experiencing risk factors for poor mental health such as isolation and unemployment, have a long-term condition, have experienced a life-changing event or have a problem linked to social, emotional and practical needs. Social Prescribing is a way of enabling primary care professionals to refer patients to a range of local non-clinical services through a link worker.

 There are two part-time Link Workers based for one day a week in Brecon, Crickhowell, Hay and Talgarth medical practices. They explore the needs of individuals and possible solutions and empower them to make choices about treatment. Working together they create a plan, set goals and access services and activities.

The Friends support the work of Brecon and District Mind and raise awareness of mental health issues in and around Brecon, Crickhowell, Talgarth and Hay-on-Wye. It is open to everyone and holds talks, walks, social activities and fund-raising events.