Don’t miss our myth busting guide to social prescribing

London Arts and Health and the Mayor of London have launched a myth busting guide to help support the hundreds of grassroots organisations in London to become involved in the London recovery plan. The guide aims to challenge many of the myths surrounding social prescribing, tackling areas such as funding, the role of link workers and the importance of strong evidence-based research and evaluation.

Social prescribing describes the practice of referring patients to social activities instead of or as complementary to more ‘conventional’ forms of medicine.

The myth buster exists as a downloadable guide featuring resources and case studies, a website, podcast and animated video showing a participant perspective on arts and culture on prescription. As well as encouraging more cultural organisations to become involved in arts and health activity through social prescribing, the myth buster is also an up-to-date resource showcasing some of the best projects happening already across the capital.

Dr Tom Coffey, OBE, Senior Advisor to the Mayor on Health, said:

“The pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental and physical health and exposed inequalities in our healthcare system. Social prescribing connects people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.”

“I am proud that City Hall is working with London Arts and Health to champion social prescribing and to help grassroots organisations across our capital with expanding their mental health support provisions.”

Moira Sinclair OBE, Cultural Ambassador for the Mayor and CEO of Paul Hamlyn Foundation said:

“The Myth Buster for Arts & Cultural Social Prescribing is a fantastic new resource for artists, cultural organisations and people working in the health sector. Never has there been a more urgent moment for this. The effects of the pandemic on people’s mental health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated and access to arts and culture can be restorative and therapeutic. This guide spotlights the interlocking systems at play and shows how people and cultural organisations have developed innovative partnerships and approaches in response.”

Director of London Arts and Health, Jenni Regan, said:

“We are the leading arts and health support charity in London and have been consulting our five thousand members over the past year to produce this guide. Many have told us that as smaller, grassroots organisations they are mystified by social prescribing. Many felt as though only the larger, well-resourced arts bodies will have a seat at the table. The arts world and the health world can often feel miles apart and this guide is an attempt to bridge the gap and to offer practical advice and support for arts and cultural organisations who are interested in getting involved in social prescribing.”

Find out more and download the guide