We all know the benefits of keeping active throughout our lives and at danceSing we are big advocates of singing and dancing to improve overall wellbeing. It’s not only important to keep active for our physical health, but also our mental health, which can often be overlooked. In recent years the topics of mental health and particularly the issue of loneliness has been widely discussed with a growing number of efforts to tackle these in society.
With the NHS under more pressure than ever before, many are backing the concept of prescribing social activities to help mental health and loneliness issues. Of course, in certain cases medicine is required, however there are many instances where activities such as singing and dance classes have proven to have a positive impact on mental health. Within our classes, 92% of our members have reported that they have a greater feeling of wellbeing with danceSing.
Support for this form of ‘social prescribing’ has been growing. In a recent poll by YouGov, 55% of 3734 people approved of allocating NHS spending to allow Doctors to prescribe activities such as dance classes and choir sessions to tackle loneliness in the UK. 19% of respondents said they didn’t know their thoughts on this issue, and 26% disapproved.
We are very aware of the growing issue of loneliness in the UK and are supporters of any efforts that aim to tackle this issue. We are pleased to see the Government getting involved too. In October the Prime Minister Theresa May launched the Government’s initial strategy to reduce loneliness, describing it as ‘one of the greatest public health challenges of our time’.
There are many schemes all over the UK already combatting social isolation, and with the Government’s backing we expect these will only grow over the coming years. We welcome the positive change this new focus will bring to help reduce demand on GP services and most importantly bring societies most vulnerable groups back into an active and socially connected lifestyle.