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Supporting Canadian Caregivers

Community Resilience through Social Prescribing: Strengthening the Fabric of Care 

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In our quest for better health and wellbeing, it’s important to recognize the profound impact of interconnected healthcare and social systems. Beyond medical care, social factors play an instrumental role in shaping individual wellbeing and fostering community resilience. Connection is critical to our wellbeing, and the same applies to our systems.  

Coordinating efforts across health care, social services, and community organizations is essential for co-creating solutions that enhance wellbeing.  

Research consistently shows that social connections are vital for improving health outcomes and addressing health challenges. Meaningful relationships and community involvement not only boost physical and emotional wellbeing but also improve access to vital services, foster a sense of belonging, and reduce reliance on our overwhelmed healthcare system. 

Social prescribing offers a dedicated pathway to address social needs affecting health. By leveraging the health system as a doorway to connecting individuals, including caregivers, to non-medical resources and community activities, social prescribing supports comprehensive wellbeing and resilience.  

Through the Canadian Institute for Social Prescribing, a national collaborating hub anchored by the Canadian Red Cross, we harness the power of cross-sectoral connections to enhance health outcomes and alleviate system pressures. Social prescribing emphasizes empowerment and self-determination to help everyone achieve personal goals and build meaningful connections.  

The Canadian Red Cross has a long history of offering programs and services that promote health and wellbeing, including transportation assistance, food security, health equipment loans, community connection, first aid, and an expanded Friendly Calls program with a national toll-free number that empowers individuals to maintain meaningful connections and engagement with others and their communities. 

Integrating social prescribing into health care and promoting community engagement aligns with a broader movement in Canada towards an increased focus on health creation through strategies that address critical social determinants of health. Together, we can encourage community involvement and build a more resilient, healthier society.  

Through our partnership with the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence and provincial caregiver organizations, we are strengthening the bridge between our healthcare system and community-based social supports. 

This Caregiver Awareness Month let’s continue to champion the vital role of caregivers and highlight tools like social prescribing that support caregivers and promote holistic wellbeing across our communities.

To learn more, visit SocialPrescribing.ca.

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