Residents of Ipswich can now access a service to improve their health and wellbeing while reducing social isolation. Citizens Advice Ipswich is working with East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to provide a new social prescribing service, called Connect for Health.
The programme works across all Ipswich GP surgeries alleviating a variety of non-medical issues. Connect for Health will take referrals from General Practitioners, health professionals, and their staff, and is also a self-referral service.
Taking care of your health involves more than just medicine. Connect for Health provides specialist support for non-medical issues such as:
- Welfare Benefits and financial support
- Support during life changing events
- Housing, including disrepair
Social prescribing improves individuals’ wellbeing by helping with a range of non-medical social, economic and environmental factors. We provide advice and support to help with stressful problems. Support that improves health and wellbeing can often be provided by helping clients to access local voluntary groups. Connecting with local groups can provide a wide range of lifestyle improvements:
- Reduction of Social Isolation and loneliness
- Emotional Wellbeing
- Healthy lifestyle choices
- Arts, culture and creative activities
- Increase in confidence and purpose
The service provides a range of benefits including:
- Taking control of situations with support
- Improving mental health and wellbeing
- Meeting new people
- Learning new skills or participating in new activities
- Increasing self confidence and self esteem
- Better quality of life
- Involvement in the community
The service can be accessed by talking to your GP, social care and healthcare professional or surgery staff. They will be able to refer you. Connect for Health is a free confidential service available to everybody over the age of 18.
Nicky Willshere, CEO of Citizens Advice Ipswich, said:
We are delighted to be working in Partnership with the CCG and the GP surgeries to support the Wellbeing of Ipswich Residents. Offering a whole person approach to health helps speed up the process of improvement for many.