Southport resident Danny, aged 26, was experiencing anxiety and depression when he found the NHS social prescribing service in Sefton. He shares his story and encourages others to reach out and use the service if they need help.
Social prescribing is designed to help people with their health and wellbeing by linking them in with local services for practical, social, physical and emotional support.
After having feelings of anxiety and depression, Danny spoke to his GP and was referred to the service.
He said: “The social prescribing service is amazing. It’s not something I had ever heard of, but honestly, without Damian and the service, I don’t think I would have managed to get to where I am now, which is feeling a lot better than I have been.”
After the initial referral, social prescribing link worker Damian contacted Danny and they began having regular chats to talk about his mental wellbeing issues and which local services might help him.
Danny continued: “There are a few ideas that he thought could benefit me, the first one was the Southport Park Run. After doing it with Damian two or three times, I have been back myself since and I have finished it on my own.
“After being in the mindset that I have been in, you don’t tend to think you can do things like that, you’re always putting yourself down. But once you actually do it, and you’ve finished it, the feeling is really great. You feel so accomplished. I’m proud of myself that I managed to do it.
“It’s that personal connection which really helps. They do make you feel very safe, and like you can tell them anything. It’s honestly been a massive help to me.”
Watch Danny talk about his experience with social prescribing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6WIOpnRJGIcan
Nikki Williams, senior social prescribing link worker in Southport and Formby said: “Social prescribing is about working with people on wider health and wellbeing needs, so non-medical issues that may be going on in their life, having a chat with them to work out what their priorities are for change, and then linking them in to the appropriate service.
“Social prescribing can cover social isolation, linking people into community groups and getting out and meeting people, but it can also be practical information and referring into specialist services around housing, benefits and support to get back to work.
“I think everybody can benefit from social prescribing. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or lonely and think a social prescriber could help you, then contact your GP practice and ask about the service to get help with your wellbeing.”
Hear more from senior social prescribing link worker, Nikki Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axI65SAZDxY
The social prescribing service in Southport and Formby is a collaboration between Sefton CVS and Southport and Formby Primary Care Network.
In Southport and Formby, people can be referred to the social prescribing service by anyone in their GP practice. People can find out more about their social prescribing service and how to access it by talking to their GP practice.
For more information about social prescribing, visit the NHS website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/personalisedcare/social-prescribing/