Health Connections launched on Mental Health Awareness Day, at Les Cotils, with over 150 guests from across The Public, Private and Voluntary Sector, with the intention of complimenting the islands Transformation in Health and Care.
Health Connections roots are from the much-valued charity Health Information Guernsey and the Information Exchange, which over the past year have been evolving its services and now as Health Connections LBG aims to;
“to ensure that all people in the Bailiwick are connected to support and information that helps them live healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives”.
Bella Farrell, Chief Executive of Health Connections, believes that the charity with its proactive and progressive asset-based community approach and a focus on working alongside others in the public, private and third sectors can help ensure that the Government sponsored Partnership of Purpose becomes a reality.
Bella is part of an experienced and motivated team which she believes has the potential to make a significant difference with their innovative approach, see www.healthconnections.gg, to improving the health and wellbeing of all islanders.
Health Connections train individuals to become “Community Connectors” who can then signpost friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to support, services and activities that matter to them; resulting in a connected and stronger community for everyone.
Health Connections also supports people to manage their own health and wellbeing with one to one and group support, advocacy and coaching provided by their Health Connectors.
Once people know where they want to go, Health Connections can also take them there courtesy of their Voluntary Car Service. Last year alone this service co-ordinated 3750 journeys for people who might not otherwise have got out and about to see a health care professional, visit a loved one or attend an uplifting activity.
Health Connections will promote the social model of Health and Care. A recent innovation, Social Prescribing sees Health and Care professionals refer their clients and patients to support in their community rather than prescribe medical solutions. Next time a problem’s brewing, don’t be surprised if you leave the doctor’s surgery with a prescription for volunteering, singing, walking or attending The Men’s Shed instead of medicine. The theory recognises people’s health as indicative of their social, economic and environmental situation. It views health holistically in an attempt to put people in charge of their own wellbeing and empower each of us to stay healthy. That’s not to say medicine wouldn’t be prescribed when necessary – it depends on each person’s individual needs.
Health Connections has created an online directory, sponsored by Specsavers, which will enable health care professionals, carers and you and I to have easier access to all Health, Care and Wellbeing activities, services and support and will enable you or your doctor to self and cross refer to those hidden gems in the community that are there and ready for that social prescription.
Have a chat
Potentially, one of the most admirable projects of Health Connections is their plan to place Community Connectors in local cafes, canteens, libraries and workplaces. “I love the potential for talking Café’s -places where people simply meet up to chat about what support is out there which could help address loneliness, a modern-day problem far more impactful than most realise with links to immunity problems and consequently diseases such as diabetes, depression, heart disease and even dementia”.
Most exciting of all, Health Connections will offer all of their volunteers the opportunity to Timebank their hours, increasing joy and abundance in their own lives with the option of transferring their community credits to someone they love, to access useful IT or gardening support that might otherwise not have been possible!
And it’s all in service of helping us live more independently for longer in the community. Isn’t that what the “Transformation in Health and Care” is all about!
To get involved or find out more Tel 01481 707470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.