Social prescribing for bereavement support, postvention support and for improving mental health: a systematic review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Study Objectives
To examine the potential applicability of social prescribing (SP) for postvention support, for bereavement support and for improved mental health.

Methods
A systematic review was carried out to search for peer-reviewed journal articles on four major online databases: Web of Science; PsychINFO; Medline; and EMBASE. We included quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methods research, from any field or discipline, with a focus on social prescribing, for mental health and/or bereavement and/or suicide bereavement. We included studies that focus on outcomes of social prescribing schemes rather than effectiveness of individual interventions.

Results
Across 102 identified articles, 28 studies met our criteria, including two reviews, with 21 representing a UK perspective. Publication dates were between 2008-2017. Despite extensive searching, no published evidence met our review criteria for the application of SP schemes for people bereaved by suicide, or other types of bereavement support, highlighting a gap in the literature. Mental health outcomes were the focus of all studies meeting the criteria. The findings suggest that social prescribing can reduce loneliness and social isolation as well as enhancing psychological outcomes for people experiencing mental health problems, in line with similar published reviews. Overall, the effects of social prescribing interventions have been positive, from the perspective of the participants, the referring health care professionals, and the programme facilitators.

Conclusion
Our conclusions support the need for more robust methods and consistent reporting in the evaluation of social prescribing schemes. The available evidence for SP's effectiveness at addressing wider mental health needs could be more robust. In relation to social functioning, isolation, self-efficacy and stigma, the emerging evidence speaks to specific suicide risk factors that are seen in those experiencing prolonged grief, including suicide bereavement. This suggests that testing SP for effectiveness in people bereaved by suicide who have similar identified needs, is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention
Subtitle of host publication"Breaking Down Walls & Building Bridges”
PublisherInternational Association for Suicide Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2019
Event30th Annual Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention: Breaking Down Walls & Building Bridges - Millennium Forum, Derry, Ireland
Duration: 17 Sep 201921 Sep 2019
https://www.iasp2019.com/
https://www.iasp2019.com/conference-program

Conference

Conference30th Annual Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention
Abbreviated titleIASP Annual Congress
CountryIreland
CityDerry
Period17/09/201921/09/2019
Internet address

Keywords

  • Suicide bereavement
  • Suicide prevention
  • postvention
  • Systematic Review

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social prescribing for bereavement support, postvention support and for improving mental health: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Galway, K. (2019). Social prescribing for bereavement support, postvention support and for improving mental health: a systematic review. In 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention: "Breaking Down Walls & Building Bridges” International Association for Suicide Prevention.