The Rushcliffe Social Prescribing Team are constantly on the lookout for new resources and services in the community to help improve their patients’ health and well-being.
The last year has been difficult and it would have been all too easy for the team to become despondent with the restrictions and anxiety around Covid-19, but early on the team became aware of the huge benefit mindfulness might have on the people referred to them.
The team were also interested in how this taps into “taking notice,” which is one of the 5 ways to well-being. These five ways – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Give and Keep Learning – are an integral part of the social prescribing service offer. This simple tool has provided patients with the opportunity to engage with themselves and their surroundings.
A significant number of referrals to the team have been related to mental health and the challenge has been to find a solution to support these patients.
Working with Inspire, an organisation with a remit around culture, learning and libraries, it was clear that there was an opportunity to tap into their wealth of training materials around health and wellbeing, and mindfulness in particular.
A pilot group session Mindfulness – an Introduction, hosted by Inspire on Zoom, was held in October 2020 and met with positive feedback from patients. The Social Prescribing Service has since continued their partnership with Inspire, developing and launching the online Friday Mindfulness Group on the last Friday of every month.
This two- hour Zoom group provides a gentle introduction to mindfulness and covers a definition of mindfulness, a range of activities, the benefits and how to actually apply them in everyday life.
Patients of all ages are benefitting and some of the comments have been encouraging. Feedback includes:
- “you’ve given me some tools that I can actually use”
- “such a well-structured session, very friendly, calm and welcoming.”
- “I was left wanting to know more and will go back for the next session”
- “I know now important it is to stop and give time for myself”