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Social prescribing: the key to health and happiness?

Join Mind as we look at what social prescribing is in the voluntary and community space, how it can complement traditional mental health therapies and help us stay well. And why it could be key to finding good health and happiness.

Stephen Fry and the panel will be discussing how this approach to care works in the mental health field. We'll hear from some inspirational individuals about their experiences of running community wellbeing activities in nature and the arts. We'll then have a round of questions and answers. 

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is:

"individuals being referred/self-referring to non-medical interventions run by a third-party organisation in order to contribute to their general health and well-being."

Source: Roberts, Erwin, Pontin, Williams and Wallace, under review. Social prescribing and complexity theory: A systematic review. 

The panel

Credit: Elliot Spencer

Stephen Fry (host and moderator)

Stephen Fry is one of the best-known and most widely appreciated English personalities. He is an award-winning actor, comedian, TV and radio presenter, narrator, voice-over artist, writer, film director, BAFTA host and mental health ambassador.

Over the last 11 years as President of Mind, Stephen has played an important role in changing the conversation around mental health. He's done a huge amount to raise awareness about bipolar disorder and other mental health problems. He has tirelessly supported Mind’s campaigns and has helped change public attitudes about mental health for the better.

Credit: @ofilaye

Jocelyn Yeboah-Newton (panellist)

Jocelyn Yeboah-Newton (Yaa Sankofa) is a Ghanaian woman on a mission. She is the Head of Safeguarding and Participation for Abianda, a trainee integrative psychotherapist and facilitator. She is also the founder of Our Naked Truths and the Black Womxn's Therapy Fund, providing free and low-cost therapy for black womxn. 

Her creative approach helps people have an honest, reflective, healing and celebratory exploration of self-acceptance, identity, forgiveness, freedom and love. She uses sound, art, meditation, discussion and writing as her tools. She founded Our Naked Truths to create a safe space for people to empower, heal and reclaim their bodies and stories in the name of self-acceptance. 

Credit: Harry Stuart-Smith

Sue Stuart-Smith (panellist)

Sue Stuart-Smith is a prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She worked in the NHS for many years, and was the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She now teaches at The Tavistock Clinic in London and is a consultant at DocHealth, a not-for-profit service helping doctors suffering from stress and burnout. 

She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, and together they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire. Her book, The Well Gardened Mind, was published in 2020. It became a Sunday Times bestseller, and a Times and Sunday Times book of the year. It has since been translated into seventeen languages.

Richard Norris (panellist)

Richard Norris has been a professional musician and record producer for four decades. He is one half of the band The Grid, who have had 10 UK hit singles. He has also remixed and produced artists like Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and Tame Impala.

Richard is very interested in how music affects mental health. Just before lockdown, he released his Music For Healing series and donated all the profits to Mind. You can download Music For Healing here and make an optional 'name your price' donation to Mind.

The series had great feedback and Richard is now working to create a Music For Healing app for NHS staff and patients. He has also written a memoir, Strange Things Are Happening, which will be published in 2024. 

Lynette Charles (panellist)

Lynette Charles is CEO of Mind in Haringey, Chair of Mind in London and Lead of Black Thrive in Haringey. She has had a 27 year long career in health and social care and community development work. Over the past seven years, she's led Mind in Haringey from nearly closing to thriving.

In part, her success is thanks to being grounded in what a community organisation should be doing and how to have an impact. She is committed to improving mental health and wellbeing for the whole community.

Lynette is a Mental Health First Aid facilitator, ASSIST facilitator, humanistic counsellor, coach and psychology graduate. Her special interests are young people, mental health, suicide, counselling and spirituality. 

How social prescribing helped me get back to myself - David's story

"Social prescribing helped me put a lot into perspective. Over months and regular chats, Mike helped me find my confidence again."

Read David's story  

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If you believe passionately in creating change for people experiencing mental health problems, we would love to work with you.

To find out more about our current funding needs and how your support could make a difference, please get in touch on [email protected] or 0208 215 2299.

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