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Social Prescribing for Mental Health

Author: Lynne Friedli with Catherine Jackson, Hilary Abernethy and Jude Stansfield

Sometimes called community referral, social prescribing involves connecting people, usually via primary care, with non clinical sources of support within the community. At its best, social prescribing recognises the whole person, the social, economic and cultural factors that influence health and mental health and the importance of access to everyday resources and opportunities. 

There are many different models and referral can include physical activity, art, music, debt services, housing, volunteering, parenting support, cookery, bibliotherapy, gardening. 

Written for commissioners and those wanting to set up a social prescribing scheme, this guide looks at making the most of the opportunities and overcoming some of the challenges.


The publisher is CSIP and North West Development Centre.

Social prescribing for mental health - a guide to commissioning and delivery © Lynne Friedli 2009.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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