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Pilot project has health team prescribing hobbies, social activities to patients

Medical professionals are recognizing and treating social isolation in the interest of overall patient health
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The SGBCHC has been chosen as one of 11 Community Health Centres across Ontario to take part in a social prescribing pilot program. The goal of this project is to develop non-medical, cost effective interventions that focus on addressing the social determinants of health through social prescribing. This will enable primary healthcare professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical, community services and activities. 


“We are very excited about the positive outcomes of the social prescribing pilot program so far. Our healthcare providers are connecting clients to various non-medical supports such as our Hobbies and Crafts workshops, Friendly Visiting program, FoodFit, Nordic Pole walking group and more. As a result, clients are reporting improvements in mental health and sense of wellbeing. They feel less isolated, have stronger social support networks, and take pride in “giving back” as volunteers,” said Heather Klein Gebbinck, Executive Director, South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre.


Most recently, Global News visited the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre and highlighted its success withsocial prescribing and the important link between connectedness and wellbeing – Social prescriptions: Sense of belonging could be best medicine.


Caroll Thompson, a volunteer at the SGBCHC, says that volunteering has made a huge impact in her life. “Volunteering in the community is a fun thing to do. I feel like I’m making a difference and I made a new friend. The social prescribing programs at the SGBCHC have helped me assimilate into the community more and I feel a lot happier and more settled,” said Thompson.


To learn more about the provincial-wide social prescribing pilot program and early results, read the newly released Progress Report Rx: Community – Social Prescribing in Ontario.


To learn more about the SGBCHC programs in Wasaga Beach and surrounding areas, visit