It was just last week that I discovered another aspect to our local Health Care here in Donegal. Namely, Social Prescribing. And as ever I had to find out more.
Social Prescribing is about supporting the health and well-being of people by using community based activities and supports, such as exercise, art, reading, gardening, and many other such activities. There may also be opportunities to attend self-help sessions and stress control.
The local Social Prescribing Co-ordinator will talk to you about what activities interest you, the benefits of participating in them and will then assist and support you in attending these activities.
The programme is for you if you feel that you need some support to mind your health and well-being or if you feel isolated, stressed, anxious or depressed. Using resources within the community will help you to benefit from meeting other people or taking part in a new activity.
There is a book club in Buncrana set up by local Co-ordinator Carmel Gallagher. This allows for a social gathering and in turn is encouraging people to read and then discuss their reading material. Books are suggested in relation to a person's health and well-being which may help them in their current problems. Books are beneficial in so many ways.
I'm currently reading a book called, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. This is telling the story of a 'literary apothecary' who possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled soul of his customers. One of my favourite quotes from this novel and must surely be relevant to Social Prescribing is: “There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books."
Social Prescribing will not only help support and mind your health and well-being, it will help shape your future. New friends, new hobbies and new interests are all waiting.
This just has to be one of the best Health Services introduced in our area. Go out there and reap the benefits of it.
Our local (Buncrana, Carndonagh areas) Social Prescribing Co-ordinator Carmel Gallagher can be contacted on 0860406950. Moville Social Prescribing Co-ordinator Ann Doherty can be contacted on 0894318831. Check out the local Facebook page at Social Prescribing Inishowen. You really won't regret it.