Social prescribing is a non-clinical treatment option which connects children to help with mild but complex mental health issues. A referral for social prescribing can be made by various agencies including a GP, local authority or a teacher so that organisations, including Barnardo’s can match children with the right services to suit their needs. Such services are then prescribed to help prevent and provide early intervention for conditions including isolation, anxiety and low self-esteem.
The new Barnardo’s report highlights the need for social prescribing services on a national scale to help children and young people with their mental health by nurturing self-confidence and developing a sense of belonging. Each young person would be referred to a Link worker, who would offer them emotional support, identify the right services, coordinate what support is needed and assist with logistics including costs and transport to take part in activities.