Could social prescribing improve your health and wellbeing?

How to access social prescribing services in Surrey

Many things that affect our health can't be treated by doctors or medicine alone like loneliness, isolation or stress due to financial pressures or relationship turmoil.

Social prescribing is a way of connecting people to groups and support in the community, including social activities, exercise classes and support with the cost of living, to help them lead the best lives they can.

With Social Prescribing Day taking place on 9 March, we're shining a spotlight on the free service and how it's benefiting Surrey residents.

How to be referred

Any Surrey adult registered with a GP will have access to a social prescribing service whether that's delivered through the surgery or by a partner organisation that a GP can make a quick referral to.

Social prescribers in GP surgeries may run, or be able to link people to, activities such as art groups and wellbeing walks.

Find out more about the service on the Healthy Surrey website.

The impact of social prescribing

Callum, 28, was referred to the social prescribing service in 2021 at a time when he was struggling with anxiety and depression and had little purpose in life. Initially unwilling to meet in person, he spoke regularly to social prescriber Dawn on the phone.

Dawn worked to understand what mattered to Callum, he was determined to make something of his life and make his son proud of him and referred him to Richmond Fellowship, a mental health charity.

Callum also agreed to attend Dawn's art and peer support group which led to him discovering he had a natural empathy and an ability to put others at ease. This resulted in Callum being appointed to a role helping others as a Lived Experience Practitioner at the mental health charity Catalyst.

He now runs, plays guitar, is in a loving and supportive relationship and credits social prescribing with helping him embark on a fulfilling career which plays to his strengths in supporting others.

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