"These are incredibly important services to the community"
My role is to coordinate the physical health aspect of the service and link in with GPs and clients to encourage engagement in their physical health.
Hi, my name is Vikki and I am a Community Connectors Coordinator and Physical Health Lead in the Community Connectors team.
We are a social prescribing service that supports individuals to participate in the community to promote their health and wellbeing.
My role is to coordinate the physical health aspect of the service and link in with GPs and clients to encourage engagement in their physical health. This is to address the health inequality where people who suffer from severe mental illness live 15-20 years less.
The aim of this pathway is to improve clients’ engagement in their physical health, e.g. smoking cessation or diet, to improve their mental and physical wellbeing, and to ensure their needs are being met. This is unique as we are the only commissioned service to be working so closely with GPs and the new physical health check.
I was attracted to the role as I could see the huge benefit of social prescribing and linking clients to the community as a mental health intervention.
The Community Connectors service already improves people’s lives by bringing them out of social isolation, motivating them to engage in meaningful activities, and by promoting physical health. It should reduce health inequalities across the county.
These are incredibly important services to the community as they link people with safe spaces to recover and develop, and also take pressure off GPs and hospitals.
There are a few challenges along the way. We are finding that GPs are excited by social prescribing, but that it can be difficult for them to find space or time for Community Connectors.
The best thing about my job is working with a brilliant range of professionals - from the Community Connectors and other members of the Southdown team to external agencies. Everyone is so passionate about making a change to people’s lives.
I think the future of Social Prescribing is very exciting, I can’t wait to see where it takes us!
Community Connectors is a free service for people with issues impacting on their mental health and where they or their GP have identified that a ‘social prescription’ would be of benefit. Social Prescribing helps clients find practical solutions to everyday issues and supports them to link in with specialist agencies and activities in their local community that can help improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.