Social Prescribing begins a new partnership in Sligo

HSE Media Statement: 29th November 2021

CHO Area 1 (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo)

A new partnership has been developed in Sligo between the Adult Mental Health Unit and the local Social Prescribing Project based in the nearby Sligo Family Resource Centre.

The project is one of seven sites in CHO 1 funded through Slaintecare and supported by Health and Wellbeing.

Sligo Family Resource Centre Social Prescribing Coordinator, Loretta McLoughlin, has been very successful in rolling out the Project since it began late last year, despite the effects of the pandemic.

Sligo Adult Mental Health Unit Manager Pauline Mc Nabola welcomed the introduction of the social prescribing service located in the unit for a two hour period once a week, to support residents as part of their discharge planning and in their preparations for leaving the unit and returning to their own communities.

To date the feedback from staff and residents has been really positive, and the service is held Friday mornings from 10am to 12 noon.

Ms McLoughlin is able to outline through a joint planning approach what matters to the individuals themselves and potential links back into positive activity within their own community. She is also able to identify links from other social prescribing activities outside the Sligo area.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing refers to the process of accessing non -medical interventions; it is a mechanism linking people with non-medical sources of support within their community to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.  As a model Social Prescribing is a relatively new concept in Ireland, although it has been delivered in the UK for some time.  It is intended to reduce social exclusion for isolated and vulnerable people, people with a long term health condition and people with enduring mental health challenges

Ms Mc Loughlin said “We are extremely grateful to be given the chance to share the potential Social Prescribing has to offer all in our community with the residents of the AMHU.  It’s fantastic to see Social Prescribing evolving both locally and nationally, connecting people in communities which is something that is needed in this current climate. The AMHU truly is a place of healing, captivating the holistic elements an individual requires for their recovery and having Social Prescribing placed there will allow the residents to see there is so much support available to them as they embark on their journey to recovery.

Meanwhile a Service User from AMHU gave their opinion of the service  “It sounds like a great thing to be linked into and I will definitely be calling you once I leave here."

Sligo Adult Mental Health Unit Manager Pauline Mc Nabola said The Adult Mental Health Unit (AMHU) for Sligo Leitrim Mental Health service is delighted and fortunate to be able to introduce Social Prescribing. Social Prescribing is being introduced as part of the Staff and Resident Wellbeing Framework which is being developed and implemented at present for the AMHU. It is the hope of all involved that the key role Social Prescribing offers of supporting people to engage in their communities will continue to grow throughout the service in 2022 and beyond.”

ENDS

Last updated on: 29 / 11 / 2021