New pilots to reduce reliance on prescription medication by prescribing interventions to improve mental health have been announced by Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething.
Mind Cymru and the British Red Cross have been awarded a total of £1,351,066 to deliver projects across Wales.
The British Red Cross will run pilots for adults who have low to moderate mental health problems and are frequent attenders of GP or ambulance services in Pembrokeshire and Caerphilly.
Mind Cymru will work with adults who are isolated, lonely and at risk of poor mental health in Taf Ely, South Powys and North Denbighshire.
Link workers will work with patients to develop tailored support plans that they can undertake locally.
Types of interventions could include:
- Non-clinical interventions(e.g. mindfulness)
- Referrals to advice and support for housing, debt, benefits etc.
- Community based wellbeing activities such as walking groups, arts and craft etc.
Mr Gething said: “Social prescribing can be an excellent way to provide long-term mental health support for people in their own communities and reduce reliance on prescription drugs.
“We made a commitment to deliver social prescribing pilots in our Together for Mental Health and Prosperity for All strategies.
“These pilots will build on existing work across Wales to promote social prescribing, to ensure people have access to care and support which truly recognises them as an individual, and takes account of the full range of factors which could be affecting their mental health and wellbeing.
"They will provide valuable evidence about which interventions are most effective so that we can develop models to be used across Wales.”