Social prescribing

With the idea of recovery club, I found the project Source of support: social prescribing has something similar I can refer to. Therefore, I talked to expert in this project and it really helps me a lot.

Interview with social prescribing expert

Case study: Social prescribing – mental health support

GP, user — Link worker, user — user, community groups 

GP sees people who have mental health problem and he refers this to the link worker. The link worker talks to them for about half an hour to find out what is the problem, what would they like to do and then they refer them to classes in community link like walking groups, badminton classes, art therapy, cooking therapy, all the different community groups. These classes are for anybody, not especially for people who have mental problem.

In every house state in Dundee, usually there is a community centre running all kinds of different classes.

Generally, people in social prescribing are very socially isolated and they don’t go out. So the link worker in this project can help and support them to go out. After the first initial visit, they managed to go themselves.

The target user in this project don’t need medication.

About the motivation

They suffer from the depression. Evolving people in social prescribing is a difficult process. The link worker and the person who possibly runs the recovery club, it is more like to be a consultant service, a listening service to get them motivated. In fact, some people took a lot of moving to get them to involve. Because those people are so damaged.

Suggestion given on the stroke project 

Who would run the recovery club? Who would lead the special classes?

The leader will need to be someone with physiotherapy, because they will understand the needs. But someone also who has insights into the mental health problems for people have stroke. Because people with stroke understand that they need exercise for the ability issues, but the impact on their life and mental health problems is huge.

You can highlight the problem: don’t be socially isolated, don’t just sit in your house, come to recovery club.

The peer support maybe also very helpful.

About Online info

If you want to send them to gym, the gym should have the instructor who can understand the problem. It should be tailored especially for stroke survivors.

Online information could work, because 60 or 70 they should be online. It will tell them all about the recovery club and tell them where to go in the community centers.

Useful: Dundee healthy living initiative (website)

They do a lot of different kind of programs and that might be a way of linking to them so that you can start with your recovery club. Small fee to access to those classes. And this is Dundee wide.

Lack of links. That is the problem. Every body works in their little groups and nobody links.


Tutorial notes 17/06/2013

Another meeting with interviewee

It would be really useful to say to the interviewee thank you so much for you time. You have told me more about the project than any reading could possibly do. Could I come and talk to you for 20 minutes just to show you how I understand of what you said and show you the journey map I did. Just another short meeting, not a serious interview. I draw it up now and I want to check with you that I got that all right and tell you where I think the main problems are. And maybe ask that have you got any suggestions what the outcome/idea might be?

About the idea/possible outcomes

It may more like a package. Maybe you can pull together everything that exists, but you are calling it something else. Many things like gym, club or course, they are all under the big umbrella of the stroke survivors club. However, they are not joining up now. The post-recovery club might include online information, mental health support, gym memberships and special classes. They all need join up.

How can you increase a good outcomes? If your interviewee is a good outcome, so how can you make other people to be a good outcome as well? How can you make it easy? Because your interviewee is a very determining man. How do you think we could make it easier for someone who doesn’t have a strong will as you to make such a good recovery. Maybe get a friend overweight to go with them. Try to link up to other things. For example, people who want to do the same activity but for different reasons.

Hospital track someone back to the community.

When you put that all together with a service system ecology in blueprint and do a video how it might work, that might be your final outcome.

Go back to Dr. Jacqui Mrrios

Do you know that things exist already? Does Dundee city council offer reduce membership in gym?

Talk to Maggie Butchart

Is there any help for social prescribing for stroke?

10 of the 50 possible outcomes

From the 50 quick sketch of possible outcomes, I chose 10 ideas which are representative, different and brilliant.

They are:

1.Dog walking business with dog walking organization


2.Regular visit to someone or somewhere


3.Keep in touch with someone in Skype so that they can know about your exercise and encourage you


4.Post-recovery club based on hospital


5.A platform which connect stroke survivors to know how other people do exercise


6.Self-manage exercise class — an app guides stroke survivors to do exercise


7.A product — pedometer with electronic virtual pet game


8.Get points after doing exercise and use these points to get rewards like Amazon voucher


9.Create a space/facility to make stroke survivors do exercise together, e.g. use gesture to play game


10. Use social network like Facebook or Twitter to get information about physical activities


Interview with stroke survivor I


This week I interviewed a male stroke survivor. In this interview, we mapped his experience of stroke treatment, including cure as well as rehabilitation. We talked about exercise. Also, I showed him several ideas I come up with and gained feedback. It was really nice talking to him, as I got lots of useful information, knew about user’s needs and found some problem in the current health care service.

CIMG2729 CIMG2730

Stroke survivor used heart to show his likes to these ideas and flag to show the feasibility.

Key points quote/Highlights

“This is where I think the health care service breaks down. You go to a very protective environment in hospital with lots of people helping you. At the stage when you sent home, you are on your own. All the services, helps, supports stop. “

 “I got that service because I pushed.”

 “I think there should be some transition from lots of support to nothing. The supports could slowly withdraw.”

 “After 2-3 days when I back to home, I thought what can I do now? I am not gonna sit here for months.”

 “I did exercise for 4 months. I didn’t enjoy the exercise, I just wanted to be better and stronger. I stopped exercise but I carried on swimming, because I enjoy swimming.”

 “People that felt down or depressed, they were given psychologists to get help. I think that maybe more important than exercise.”

 “Getting the stroke survivor to the point of wanting to control and better their own life. Maybe the mental side is more important to get survivors to think ‘it’s me.’ 

Users’ needs 

These quotes highlight what the stroke survivor thought about his journey of stroke treatment and imply what the stroke survivor need as well. As designing a service, always remember to find the problems and explore users’ needs.

Desk research of design directions


As I did 50 possible outcomes for my project, the design direction become clearer. I did desk research and found that some  ideas are kind of related to each other. I divided them in 4 groups.

Social enterprise

Communication platform/activity groups

Easy accessibility

User terminal service (App)

Let me explain a bit of them.

Social enterprise

Cooperate with other organizations or companies, not only benefits stroke survivors, but also the organization or companies. For example, dog walking service run by dog walking organization.

Communication platform/activity groups

For example:

1. Use social network like Facebook or Twitter to encourage stroke survivors to do exercise or announce activities.

2. Establish some clubs for stroke survivors to find people who have the same interest in doing exercise, etc.

Easy accessibility

Create a good environment for stroke survivors to do exercise.

For example, free-rent bicycles for them or give them a special discount in gym.

User terminal service (App)

This is probably based on an app. It can :

Contact therapists or personal trainer, give guide and tips on doing exercise, remind stroke survivors to do exercise, etc.

50 possible project outcomes


We did an exercise of  drawing up 50 ideas for possible project outcomes. This  allowed me to think lots of possibilities of my research and was a creative way to move the project forward. Through quick sketching, I was able to come up with lots of ideas from lots of aspects in my project. These ideas are based on my previous research as well as some extended thoughts through my research process. Although some ideas seem quite “stupid”, they showed possibilities and potential directions in my project, which is really good for me.

There are 50 ideas in all and some of them are similar or use similar methods. So, I have classified them into several groups:

Use social network to encourage each other

Social enterprise

Reward & evidence

Enjoyable things

Do exercise with others

Regular visit spot

Create something to help stroke survivors to do exercise/facilities

Get social support