With ongoing challenges around the cost of living, many people are living with debt, housing problems and money worries. There are systems set up to help, but these are not always easy to navigate. It can be difficult to know where to turn, which benefits to claim, and how to get support for the problems we face.
When our lives feel out of control, mental and physical health can suffer. Many people turn to their GP. But doctors and the NHS cannot solve the root cause of every problem.
We need practical help with financial and legal problems. We need to know how to access the right charities, helplines, and support services. We need meaningful, long-term solutions.
NASP is working with the Money and Pensions Service and other partners to help more people take the first step. We believe this is integral to a healthy, happy life. And with the social prescribing, it is possible.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. There is support out there. Making that first step is the hardest part, but once you talk to someone and you seek that support, the weight will lift, and you’re on a journey to better financial wellbeing. Be brave, take that first step, and talk about money.
One of the great things about Social Prescribing Link Workers is that they really get to know the people they support. They understand their unique circumstances and challenges. And they “link” people with relevant advice and information services.
Projects founded in the arts, culture, the natural environment, or physical activity can help too. Some may offer direct support. For instance, they may tackle holiday hunger by providing a hot lunch alongside play activities for children. Others may signpost people to advice and information.
If someone has financial difficulties, it’s very likely they are suffering certain levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, frustration, fear… They can have panic attacks and develop depression. Another thing we’ve observed is that people who have been recently diagnosed with a long-term health condition need financial support. Usually, they’re not aware which benefits they’re eligible for, because they’ never needed to think about it before.
How Can I Find Out More, Get Involved, or Get Help?
If you’re a local voluntary, community, faith, or social enterprise organisation…
If your organisation is delivering social prescribing activities related to arts, culture, natural environment, or physical activity, you can still help people with practical problems. And you can learn to point them towards the right support. Sign up to Thriving Communities in your region or visit your regional page to find out more.
You can also explore our Accelerating Innovation directory. Here you can find out about the advice and support offered by national organisations.
If you need support for yourself or a loved one…
The link worker at your local GP surgery will listen to your concerns and connect you with organisations that can help. You can also visit the Money and Pensions Service website. There, you can chat live, find a wealth of information, and use the money helper tools.
If you're a link worker
Look out for our Financial Wellbeing toolkit, coming soon…
If you’re looking for more online information, resources, and evidence…
- You can read our Advice and Information evidence brief
- Visit our evidence page for broader evidence into the impact of social prescribing
- Download our toolkits, reports, and guidance about social prescribing
- Listen to our podcast about financial wellbeing and social prescribing
- Watch our webinar on wellbeing through food
- Or our webinar about addiction and social prescribing
- We also have a webinar about the role of social prescribing in tackling health inequalities