Social interventions can have a huge benefit on people’s health and wellbeing. 

There is no silver bullet to mental health. Medication and talking therapies are traditional first lines of support but do not suit everyone or are even available to young people who fail to meet threshold to be seen. This gap in provision creates an opportunity for an alternative approach.

Most mental health conditions are caused by social and environmental factors. It makes sense that support that embraces social issues should play a part in the solution. These interventions are known as social prescriptions.

Holistic, community-based, social interventions, use activities such as the arts, sport or nature combined with pyschological and emotional support, to give people the space to explore their emotions while their mind is on other things.

Social prescribing is about getting people to discover or rediscover a sense of joy and purpose and help them reconnect with life affirming activities, the community and ultimately themselves.

For many young people, accessing social interventions can be less daunting than the sometimes uncomfortable setting of a therapy room.

Social prescribing is one of the key components of the NHS Comprehensive Model of Personalised Care and is a mechanism for delivering personalised care and community-based support in the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England is committed to building the infrastructure for social prescribing across the primary care sector by investing in link workers who can signpost people to other community, social or charitable organisations in their area.

For the plan to work, voluntary organisations need to have the capability to support the social prescribing provision but as yet there is no coordinated plan to do so.

The social prescribing model in the UK is more developed for adults than children. 

Our vision is for well evidenced, social prescriptions to be readily available to any young person seeking an alternative to medication and more traditional psychological therapies.

This will allow many more young people to get the support they urgently need.


We support charities with a proven track record of using social interventions to connect with and help young people experiencing poor mental health.