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Let's Get Social: A Different Kind of Prescription for Anxiety

The Social Prescribing Conference, ‘Let’s Get Social’, took place at Science Gallery London at King’s and included presentations, discussions and activities exploring the ways in which social prescribing is addressing the rising prevalence of anxiety in young people.

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Science Gallery London

Part of ON EDGE: Living in an Age of Anxiety – the free exhibition and events programme at Science Gallery London – presenters included representatives from Southwark Council’s Public Health Team, faculties and departments across King’s, local GPs, social prescribing link workers and arts organisations.

Alex Coulter, Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, provided a national overview of social prescribing, arts and culture. Local and national champions of social prescribing also discussed whether GPs can prescribe arts and leisure activities that encourage participation, social interaction and physical activity in addition, to or instead of, medication.

Carmine Pariante FRCPsych, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (IoPPN) and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, led a discussion with young people from the charity Young Minds, who talked vividly about their own experiences of navigating anxiety.

The main event closed with an inspiring talk from Jules Ford, Senior Programme Manager for Social Prescribing and Cultural Commissioning Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. She discussed how arts-based approaches to social prescribing are working effectively in Gloucestershire, emphasising that their Arts on Prescription Gloucestershire project has led to a 37 per cent drop in GP consultation rates and a 27 per cent reduction in hospital admissions.

Later in the evening, participants enjoyed the contributions of artists including Daniel Regan, a photographic artist specialising in complex emotional experiences; Alex Evans, Artistic Director of Kazzum Arts, a charity which uses creative processes to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children across London; and Beth Hopkins, who works across a range of media including textiles, sculpture and collage to explore mental illness recovery and creativity.

Let’s Get Social demonstrates King’s integrated approach to arts, health and wellbeing, and its commitment to work in partnership to facilitate knowledge exchange, highlight best practice and accelerate new developments in this field.

Find out more on King’s arts, health and wellbeing webpages.