The Irish examiner covered an article detailing how social prescribing helped the locals in Cork:

Cork woman Mary O’Reilly was hospitalised for three months over the pandemic with sepsis. Her husband died on Christmas Eve — she had not been able to see him for many months before his death.

After being discharged from hospital, Ms O’Reilly’s mobility was badly reduced and her family in the UK could rarely visit due to Covid restrictions.

“My life, from being quite active, was turned upside down in the last two years,” she says.

Getting back out and into society was extremely difficult for Ms O’Reilly, and she says she wouldn’t have been able to manage it without the help of social prescribing.

The programme, delivered through the Family Resource Centre in Midleton was officially launched by Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing, and Drug Strategy Frank Feighan this week, but has already changed people’s lives in east Cork.

Social prescribing recognises that health is heavily determined by social factors such as poverty, isolation, and loneliness. It allows health professionals to refer patients to non-clinical community supports which can significantly improve their health and wellbeing.

“The first cup of coffee I had out with someone in two-and-a half years was Nora [Conway, social prescriber in east Cork],” says Ms O’Reilly.

“Going through the door is the hardest bit when you’re alone. You don’t know where to start. If you’re isolated for so long, facing into somewhere where you don’t have a friendly face and opening the door, it just seems impossible, you can’t do it. And trying to find out where things are is not easy. I would not have known this was going on without Nora.”

Social prescribing helped Ms O’Reilly connect with local groups like armchair yoga, mindfulness, and healthy ageing, which has helped her forge new friendships, rebuild her confidence, and improve her mobility and mental resilience.

To read more about the social prescribing activities in Cork, follow link below: