From September 2021, the Institute of Technology Sligo will be providing the first course in Ireland dedicated to Social Prescribing. Social Prescribing is about engaging with local community activities to support people’s health and wellbeing.
This week, the HSE launched a Framework to mainstream social prescribing within the HSE in collaboration with the community and voluntary sector, including Family Resource Centres, Local Development Companies, and County Councils.
Minister of State for Public Health and Wellbeing, Frank Feighan TD launched the new Framework, commenting:
“This is a very significant milestone in the development of social prescribing in Ireland and is proof that it is possible to influence national Government policy from ‘the ground up’ building on the evidence and learning from local initiatives.'”
Dr Natalie Delimata, Social Prescribing Course Director and Social Care Practice Lecturer at IT Sligo said:
“There is currently no other college or university offering a HEA accredited qualification relating specifically to Social Prescribing in Ireland. It provides a grounding for those considering a career relating to Public Health, Community Development, or Social Care.”
Over 50 link-workers are currently employed throughout Ireland and a national task force has been established to explore mechanisms for mainstreaming Social Prescribing.
Supporting the new IT Sligo course, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD commented:
“It is clear that the primary care system is busy and overstretched, particularly in recent times. Social Prescribing can hopefully relieve some of that burden and deliver long term health benefits for participants”.
The new Social Prescribing course modules have been developed in close consultation with Social Prescribing practitioners and managers. These modules will be delivered entirely online using a combination of short, recorded lectures and live discussion groups with occasional guest speakers, two evenings per week.
The 1-year part-time course provides a grounding for those considering a career relating to Public Health, Community Development, or Social Care. It serves as a complementary qualification for artists, musicians, craftspeople, horticulturalists and others interested in working with community groups. Community volunteers and home-carers keen to further develop their theoretical understanding and practical skills will also benefit.
For more information, please visit www.itsligo.ie/courses/social-prescribing.