An increasing number of people are experiencing social isolation and loneliness and this trend is becoming cause for concern around the world. Considering that isolation and loneliness give rise to a number of health problems, it is essential to find innovative ways to address this issue. One such approach is to enhance experiences of belonging within communities. Social prescribing (SP) is a method that can promote belonging by connecting people to the social support they need. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential relationship that can exist between therapeutic recreation (TR) and SP. As we explain, TR can complement SP efforts by ensuring people have access to inclusive, social leisure and recreation opportunities. In this sense, TR professionals are well positioned to be key players in SP processes. We contend that TR practice is best positioned to work in tangent with SP to nurture socially connected communities when it focuses on building community capacity, facilitates welcoming and inclusive leisure and recreation experiences that foster regular social interaction, and adopts principles of community development as part of a social justice model of practice.
Author Mattea E. Mahut, Darla Fortune
Volume Vol. 55, No. 2 (2021)