Global developments in social prescribing

Daniel Morse, Sahil Sandu, Kate Mulligan, Stephanie Tierney, Marie Polley, Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Sian Slade, Sonia Dias, Kamal R Mahtani, Leanne Wells, Huali Wang, Bo Zhao, Cristiano Emanuel Marta de Figueiredo, Jan Joost Meijs, Hae Kweun Nam, Kheng Hock Lee, Carolyn Wallace, Megan Elliott, Juan Manuel Mendive, David RobinsonMiia Palo, Wolfram Herrmann, Rasmus Østergaard Nielson, Keryn Husk

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Social prescribing is an approach that aims to improve health and well-being. It connects individuals to non-clinical services and supports that address social needs, such as those related to loneliness, housing instability and mental health. At the person level, social prescribing can give individuals the knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to manage their own health and well-being. At the society level, it can facilitate greater collaboration across health, social, and community sectors to promote integrated care and move beyond the traditional biomedical model of health. While the term social prescribing was first popularised in the UK, this practice has become more prevalent and widely publicised internationally over the last decade. This paper aims to illuminate the ways social prescribing has been conceptualised and implemented across 17 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. We draw from the ‘Beyond the Building Blocks’ framework to describe the essential inputs for adopting social prescribing into policy and practice, related to service delivery; social determinants and household production of health; workforce; leadership and governance; financing, community organisations and societal partnerships; health technology; and information, learning and accountability. Cross-cutting lessons can inform country and regional efforts to tailor social prescribing models to best support local needs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere008524
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2022


  • social prescribing
  • global


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