As Europe isolates due to Covid19, the wellbeing cost on our population is yet to be determined. Huge and overwhelming worries envelop our communities, sudden unemployment, weakened social institutions and eroded social capital. Mental health support services are preparing for an unprecedented spike in demand. A study in The Lancet confirms that the loss of liberty, fear of infection and length of separation creates an environment conducive to post-traumatic stress, detachment, insomnia and anger – “the psychological impact of quarantine is wide-ranging, substantial, and can be long-lasting.”
Social Prescribing is a powerful, proven community mechanism to improve the physical, emotional, mental wellbeing of adults by connecting them to non-medical community-based sources of supports. While the benefits of social prescribing are vast and the process relatively simple, social prescribing is still a relatively unknown community approach to embedding life-long learning as a resource for living.
Using a cross sectoral, transnational approach, Activate Social Prescribing for Community Learning (ACTIVATE) promotes the principle of social prescribing to key adult education groups across the EU.
ACTIVATE objectives are directly linked to the needs of our target groups. ACTIVATE will:
- Introduce the powerful health and wellbeing concept of Social Prescribing as a lifelong learning tool in Europe
- Empower adults to improve their health literacy & take responsibility for their own health (IO2) Effective social prescribing is about providing the building blocks for personal learning & knowledge application in a wellbeing context.
- Create tailored guides & supports (IO1, IO3, IO4) for social prescribing implementers to help them understand & embed social prescribing in their work
- Facilitate sustain able links between key local & regional social prescribing organisations via creating 5 ACTIVATE PARTICIPANT FORUMS
The first tangible results of the project will be the intellectual outputs which will be used by community leaders in their continuing education and outreach programmes with vulnerable adults:
- IO1: Health Literacy Empowerment Guide for Adults. A self-care guide to empower adults (particularly those suffering from poor mental health) to make sound health and wellbeing decisions and improve their personal responsibility and independence in everyday life – at home, in the community, at the workplace.
- IO2: Compendium of Social Prescribing Community Care Projects. A Compendium and Implementation Guide of European Social Prescribing Best Practices and Inventions e.g. Men’s Sheds, Social Farming, Community Gardening.
- IO3: Social Prescribing Training Programme/OERs for Health and Care Practices. An Open Education Resource Pack for to upskill Health and Care practitioners with applied knowledge to embed social prescribing in their work with vulnerable adults.
- IO4: Introduction to Social Prescribing Course for Social/Cultural Service educators. A training course on how to create new or tailored social /cultural adult education offerings e.g. art/creative wellbeing workshops.