Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing
What is Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing is a person-centred program that looks to improve overall wellbeing in non-medical ways in conjunction with your GP or healthcare worker. A social prescription can connect you with local community or exercise groups and link you in to services like parenting support or legal and financial advice. Social Prescribing helps people stay connected to their community and get more out of life.

About the service

How does it work?​

GPs and healthcare workers can refer you to the Social Prescribing program or you can get in touch with us directly.

A Wellbeing Coordinator will make an appointment to talk about your current wellbeing and the goals you want to work towards. They then connect you with free or low cost community groups and services to help achieve those goals.

The Wellbeing Coordinator stays in touch with both you and your referring healthcare worker (if you have one) to make sure the social prescription suits your needs. It can also be adjusted along the way if needed.

Who is Social Prescribing for?

Adults living, working or studying in Brimbank or Wyndham are eligible for this service. Clients may also:

  • have social, physical or mental health needs that are impacting on daily life
  • be willing to connect with and maintain social connections
  • want to improve their overall wellbeing

Social Prescribing may not be suitable for those who:

  • have complex or unmanaged mental health conditions
  • are experiencing an acute mental health episode
  • require complex care coordination
  • have in met crisis needs

How can it help?

Social Prescribing can help people who are:

  • feeling lonely or overwhelmed with life’s demands
  • finding it hard to exercise
  • wanting to connect to people with similar interests

Are interpreters free?

Yes, interpreters are free. Please let us know when booking an appointment.

How to book an appointment?

IPC Health healthcare workers can refer clients through our internal system. Clients can also self-refer to the program by by emailing us or calling 9219 7103 for Brimbank or 9216 7777 for Wyndham.

Scan the QR code with your phone to register your details or click the button below. A Wellbeing Coordinator will call you to complete your referral.

Patricia's* Social Prescribing Story

Patricia* is a woman in her 70s from the western suburbs of Melbourne. She lives independently and doesn’t have any in home supports. Her adult daughter and grandchildren used to visit her however they recently moved away from Melbourne. This meant Patricia lost her regular social interaction.

At her appointment with her IPC Health GP, she mentioned that she was feeling lonely and missing her family. Without her family around, Patricia was less active and she noticed that she wasn’t as confident getting out of the house by herself because she wasn’t steady on her feet. Patricia’s GP explored this with her and mentioned that IPC Health’s Social Prescribing program may be able to connect her to local services and programs that could help with these feelings.

Once the referral was made, a Wellbeing Coordinator contacted Patricia and booked a time for a face to face conversation. Through a holistic assessment, the Wellbeing Coordinator and Patricia discussed that she had some physical pain due to arthritis which was stopping her exercising. She acknowledged that she wanted to start moving more.

Patricia also mentioned that she loved to read but she wasn’t a member of the local library. The books she read were from local opportunity shops. Because Patricia didn’t have much room for storage, she would have to return the books to a charity once read. The Wellbeing Coordinator talked about accessing the library as way to start making connections with people who shared her passion for books. The library was only a short distance from Patricia’s home and there was a book group run by a staff member. Patricia felt this would be a good fit for her.

Patricia agreed that attending her local senior hydrotherapy class, facilitated by an IPC Health physiotherapist, would help her arthritis. These activities were placed on her wellbeing plan as steps to increase her social connections and work towards building up her balance and physical strength to move about with more confidence.

The Wellbeing Coordinator followed up with Patricia who reported that she felt comfortable in the book group and would be returning. She also shared that the hydrotherapy session has assisted her movement and general confidence about being part of social groups again.

Patricia achieved the goals that she identified as part of her wellbeing plan. She has since joined the local library and visits regularly. Patricia has also increased other forms of physical movement thanks to the mobility and balance she’s gained through the hydrotherapy classes. The feelings of loneliness and isolation have improved and Patricia feels more connected to her community.

*Name and identifying features have been changed.