Not your ordinary prescription

Plus Social provides more options for managing your mental health. It gives you the kind of care that improves your quality of life over the long term.

The innovative social prescribing program aims to:

  • Lift your confidence and improve wellbeing
  • Increase your social connectedness
  • Give you other avenues to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Plus Social is designed to help people whose mental health significantly impacts their daily living. It has three main components:

  • Clinical care coordination between GPs, psychiatrists and allied health workers
  • Connections to a range of local community services and social groups, and
  • An after-hours community-based space, The Hub, where clients needing support can come after hours and where many of our social groups will run.

For eligibility criteria and referral information, click here.

Experienced

Our team is professional and committed and genuinely cares about providing the highest quality services possible.

Comprehensive

We provide extensive consultation to determine holistic needs and address gaps in services.

Patient-centred care

Recovery and goal oriented, focusing on significant improvements in quality of life, health and wellbeing.

Innovative

Plus Social is leading the way with new programs and services to manage mental illness.

Collaborative

We work with your current care team to ensure everyone is working together to deliver needed services in the most effective way.

Free

Plus Social is a free service for Gold Coast residents who meet the eligibility requirements.

What is care coordination?

Care coordination helps a person with a serious mental illness to find and utilise a range of different services that will aid their treatment and facilitate their recovery.

It involves bringing together all the significant people in the person’s life – from their health care providers such as GP and/or psychiatrist through to allied health workers (like psychologists), their carers and family members.

Care coordination ensures all the necessary people are aware of the needs of the person with the mental illness and working collaboratively to ensure the best outcomes for them. It is working towards ensuring none of their needs fall through the cracks.

The Plus Social team is a multidisciplinary team of mental health nurses, occupational therapists and social workers who have a sound knowledge of, and relationships with, support providers in the community. They will help identify and link people to the right services based on their individual needs and interests.

Importantly, Plus Social service specialists have the time to provide one-to-one support to their client, ensuring they are able to really understand the person’s circumstances, the potential impacts of those and how to best address them from a psychosocial perspective. They will work with their client to identify their unmet needs and then coordinate, facilitate and integrate them into their overall mental health management plan.

Our service specialists provide flexible access options and will liaise with clients to find the best place to meet to ensure they feel comfortable, whether that be at home, in the community or at their GP’s practice.

Social participation

The Plus Social program works on the basis that improving social participation and reducing social isolation can have a positive impact on a person’s mental health.

To us, it makes a lot of sense: studies have shown that increased social engagement has been linked to improved happiness and wellbeing. That’s why we developed the program and we’ve definitely seen life changes in the clients who’ve been through our programs.

Our social groups are designed to improve your social supports and connections with others in a relaxed space. The groups are led by friendly facilitators and allow you to socialise and engage with other participants in similar situations. We offer an opportunity to participate in different activities that are of interest to each individual client.

See our Well Together groups listings to see what is currently available at The Hub. There are also many other social groups run in the community that our service specialists can help link you to.

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is similar to the prescription of medication for illness but instead involves the “prescription” of activities and services to improve wellbeing and quality of life.

It’s a relatively new model of care in Australia but has been used widely internationally, especially in the UK. While the evidence base is still emerging, over 50 international studies on social prescribing have demonstrated individual improvements in general health and mental wellbeing, as well as reductions in inappropriate health and social service use.

Specifically, participants in social prescribing programs have experienced improvements in self-esteem, confidence, a sense of control and empowerment, built a wider support network, and have experienced reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Read more about social prescribing.

Real life stories: Amanda

Her last relationship was unhealthy and ended badly when Amanda, 24, fled with little possessions and nowhere to go. For six months, she’s been staying on friends’ couches and self-medicating to make it through the day. She fears she’s running out of people to lean on for support. She has no job and no desire to enjoy her life anymore. She used to love online gaming and going out for coffee, but even these activities hold no comfort for her now.

Read how Plus Social helped Amanda