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The role of social prescribing in addressing the mental well-being of people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

Image of several people having a discussion sat around a table © Oxford University


The day was split into 4 sections based on the ‘double diamond’ approach outlined by the Design Council (2019):
• Discover – understand what the issues are for people post-diagnosis with MCI
• Define – how might social prescribing support someone with MCI
• Develop – ideas for research
• Deliver – decide how to take research priorities forward

The day was a mixture of brief presentations (on MCI and social prescribing) and group discussions. Through the group discussions, people from a range of backgrounds shared and explored ideas together.

Key topics discussed

• The importance of human contact in MCI and being around others

• The difficulty of talking to others about MCI - explaining what it is

• Wanting support but not to be told by others what to do or that there are people worse off

• Not being advised to undertake an activity just because of your external demographics 

• A sense that there's no blueprint or one thing that will help - this is why social prescribing was seen in a positive light because it seeks to individualise/tailor support

• Finances (or limited money) may be an issue for some in terms of getting involved in activitie

The potential role of volunteering in giving people a purpose and prompting them to get out and about

• The importance of life transitions (e.g. starting work, having children, retiring, death) and thinking about new things you can do at each transition

• Changes may not be related to starting a new activity but alterations to how you conduct a previous activity (e.g. no longer being able to drive so having to get public transport or asking others for a lift)


This event was followed up in September 2020.