Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing is an approach to better connect community care (“social”) and clinical care (“prescribing”), improving patient health outcomes by meeting non-clinical needs and addressing the social determinants of health. It is an intentional pathway that emphasizes collaboration between formal and informal supports within the community, and empowers patient to co-create their own care.

In this webinar, we are joined by Sonia Hsiung, Director of the Canadian Institute for Social Prescribing, as well as Caitlin Muhl, Le-Tien Bhaskar, and Niloufar Aran, of the Canadian Social Prescribing Student Collective, to talk to us about what social prescribing is and how it works, as well as to explore opportunities for how it can be adapted to the post-secondary context to better support students with their mental health.

Presenter Bios

Sonia Hsiung is the Director of the Canadian Institute of Social Prescribing, a new national hub to build, share and celebrate social prescribing practices. She led Canada’s first social prescribing research project, Rx: Community, which showed promising results in reduced loneliness, improved mental health, and increased integration between health and social care delivery. Sonia is keen to bring the strengths of diverse sectors together to build equitable, resilient and more connected communities.

Le-Tien Bhaskar is a second year Health Policy PhD student at McMaster University. She first discovered her passion for Social Prescription in her final year of her undergraduate degree. She has since achieved her Master of Public Health from the University of Waterloo. Her passion for Social Prescription led her to pursue doctoral studies, specifically looking at how community-led initiatives, such as Social Prescription, can impact perceptions of health, and in turn, health care policies and systems. Her work includes collaborating with community organizations such as United Way Halton-Hamilton, to explore definitions and practices of Social Prescription over time.

Caitlin Muhl is a PhD Candidate in Health Quality at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Her doctoral research is focused on social prescribing. As one of the Co-Leads of the Canadian Social Prescribing Student Collective, Caitlin is involved in building the social prescribing student movement across Canada. She is also supporting the implementation and evaluation of social prescribing at Quest Community Health Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Niloufar Aran is a Research Coordinator with an Honours BSc in Health Science, and a current MSc student at Simon Fraser University. Her work and passions are in population health and health equity, with an emphasis on mental health and social prescription. She is a co-founder of the Canadian Social Prescribing Student Collective.

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