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NEWS: Your prescription? Go fishing!

by in GP Practice Management, News

Angling is to be added to the menu of options for practices seeking to tackle patient mental health problems through social prescribing, it has been reported.

Patients in Greater Manchester can now be referred to an angling charity, Tackling Minds, the Daily Telegraph reported. Organisers hope the tranquillity of spending a day by the waterside with a rod and line will help patients relax. Patients will have equipment supplied and will get a qualified coach along with support workers attached to groups of anglers responding to prescription.

Charity founder David Lyons said: “The whole idea comes from me getting back into fishing after about 15 years. I have tried about a million and one different medications and therapies. I’ve been through detox four times, and fishing has been 100 per cent more effective than medications or therapy. It has helped me massively. It’s a form of mild exercise, so someone suffering from an injury can use it as part of recovery. Watching the float and the water is calm and therapeutic.”

Former Royal College of GPs chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard is now heading a national social prescribing project and she told the Telegraph: “I would argue that a form of social prescribing has always existed. It’s what GPs, priests, hairdressers, bartenders, postmen and women have always done – which is recognising someone is missing something in their life. What we are doing with social prescribing is giving greater emphasis to the social parts of people’s lives and the impact they can have on health and wellbeing – and that’s why the NHS is interested in it.”

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