Social Prescribing Team
The Social Prescribing Service continues to operate during the Coronavirus outbreak to support young people with their general wellbeing; referrers are welcome to continue to send new referrals to the team. There will be some changes to how we operate, to make sure we are following Government guidelines around social isolation measures and so that we keep staff and young people safe.
- We will be conducting all of our appointments with young people remotely, over phone, text and whatsapp messaging etc.
- While community activities are closed and Government advice is to stay at home, we will advise on alternative online activities for young people.
- We also recognise the mental health impact of social isolation and will support young people in managing their anxiety and worries around Coronavirus with reliable information and advice.
Some young people need professional social and emotional support during challenging times in their lives. This service aims to give that support. Below is an FAQ to help young people to better understand what it is all about and what to expect once they have been referred. It is also designed to inform parents and other family members.
Who provides the service?
This is a new service funded by Islington Council. It is run by Isledon who also manage three youth hubs in Islington called Lift, Platform and Rose Bowl. Isledon has a wealth of youth work experience and connections. Isledon employ two specially trained youth workers called Alex and Kate who will be the main point of contact.
Who can benefit from the service?
Anyone aged 11-25 who attends COLA Highgate Hill School, Whittington Rheumatology Paediatric Department or is registered at one of the following GPs: The Rise Practice, The Village Practice, Hanley Primary Care Centre, Stroud Green Medical Clinic and Archway Medical Centre.
Why would someone be advised to take part?
While feeling a bit stressed is normal and healthy, when someone is suffering from lots of anxiety or constantly feeling sad or low then they probably would benefit from some extra help. There could be all sorts of reasons they may be feeling this way including exams, money, housing, relationships, illness, loss, body image, being unable to sleep or being bullied, to name a few. Everyone is different. When a GP or teacher identifies someone who may need help they can suggest a meeting with Kate or Alex in a community setting.
Do you have to take part?
No. It is completely voluntary. And if you attend once and don’t want to visit again that is okay. But if you are suffering emotionally in any way then this is a great first step to get help and support and feel more in control.
Do parents or carers have to agree in advance?
If you are 16-25 then it is up to you to decide whether or not to involve your family. We advise everyone aged 13-15 to discuss this with their parents before they sign up. Children under 13 must have parental consent and involvement before any meetings are arranged.
What do Kate and Alex do exactly?
First, they will make direct contact by phone within a week of receiving your information from your GP, hospital or teacher. If they have been provided with your parents/carers details this will occur through them initially. They will arrange to meet with you personally - this could be at school or in the community, depending on which you prefer. We don’t make home visits.
The support will then be flexible to meet your needs. This could lead to a few meetings or phone calls,where they will discuss your likes or dislikes and what you may feel you want support with. They will give information and guidance about accessing services and opportunities to help with your identified goals. They specialise in working with young people to develop a personal plan. This could involve a mix of healthy positive activities, online support or self-help advice. They will act as a link person to help you get things sorted.
What will they do for me?
They will work alongside you to help find and access local opportunities to support all aspects of your wellbeing. They will be led by your interests and preferences, focusing on practical ways to your boost confidence and resilience, and improving your ability to manage and face challenges. They will look to find ways to help you
- become motivated, positive and resilient
- develop self-help skills to get to where you want to be
- positively develop your relationships with friends and family
- gain the confidence to experiment, make mistakes and thrive
- get ready for the world of work (for those over 16)
Where will the first meeting be?
Wherever is suitable and convenient. This could be at a youth hub or a café or at school. Private rooms will be available if you want. It could even be a phone call, facetime or a WhatsApp chat if it is what you would prefer.
How long will it all take?
The first meeting could be anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour depending on your needs and time. You will work out together how often and when to check in. There is no set number of meetings. It all depends on the needs and time of you as an individual.
Can Kate and Alex help with serious mental health issues?
No. This is not a clinical service and we can only support you with low-level emotional wellbeing difficulties and building resilience to daily stressors. If a GP thinks that a young person may have a serious mental health issue then they will not refer into this service, instead they will make a referral into the Islington Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. However, if you are referred to us and we believe you may need a higher level of support we can also make this referral to the pathway and can help you get the right support .
What kind of activities could I be linked to?
Our team focuses on the benefits that social, creative and sporting activities can bring you. The list below is a general guideline with more things being added all the time.
Arts | Archery | Baking | Basketball | Bike Maintenance | Book Clubs | Boxing | Coding | Cooking | Crafts | Choir | Circuit Training | Dance | DJ Workshops | Environmental Workshops | Filmmaking | Fitness classes | Free running | Gaming| Gardening | Gym | Drama | Football | Multi-sports | Music | Music Production | Parkour | Photography | Radio Production| Robotics and AI | Singing | |Tennis | Woodwork | Yoga | Youth Sessions
Your worker will hear your ideas and will support to find an activity that you are interested in or something similar.
We will also ensure you can access counselling or mental health services if you feel you need those, as well as other support services around stopping smoking, drug and alcohol advice, sexual health services etc, most of which are also based within our hubs and can offer drop-in or private appointments.
Will this cost money?
The service we provide is absolutely free. We are funded by Islington council to provide this service and therefore this will not cost you anything. We work with a number of social activities and clubs who are also able to provide free services, However there may be a particular activity that you are interested in which may cost a small price. Your worker will try to find this at its lowest cost local to you, and this will be discussed with yourselves and/or your parents if appropriate before taking part in the activity.
I know a young person who would benefit from this service. How can they take part?
They can speak to their GP if they go to one of the surgeries listed above. Or speak to a teacher if they are at COLA Highgate School. We only accept participants through this route at the moment.
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