Connecting People who can help

Not all healthcare is something that can or should be delivered by the NHS.

For example, lonelyness or social isolation can have devastating effects on physical and mental health and is the single most important factor in premature death - above smoking and drinking. Likewise, peer support from someone with a lived experience of the health issue at stake (eg addictions, mental health, cancer) can be invaluable to supporting someone's recovery. Oftentimes, people with such lived experience are very motivated to give back to help others.

Linking the people who are lonely or in need of peer support with people who are willing to offer such support is the challenge. I'd envisage that this is a problem digital approaches could solve.


Why the contribution is important

Often, patients will require help to stay well or to address an issue below the threshold the NHS can provide. For example, people having recovered from depression might then be ready to explore the issues that made them unwell in an attempt to prevent a relapse. Under these circumstances, the NHS may say, "we only treat ill people". 

It's therefore in the NHS and the patient's interests to make use of the peer-support that is available. This may be via peer support groups, one-one or telephone support. COnnecting those who wish to contribute with those in need in an efficient way is difficult. Being able to do so will help the patient, volunteer and NHS.

by waynegault on February 20, 2018 at 12:17PM

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