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icare backs ‘non-medical’ recovery trial

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The Insurance & Care NSW (icare) Foundation will give $1.4 million to a recovery program that helps injured workers by addressing their social and mental needs.

Non-profit health provider Primary & Community Care Services has run the social prescribing trial in metropolitan Sydney since last June.

It recently expanded the program across Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong.

It works with GPs and other practitioners to prescribe social activities such as art classes and men’s shed projects, and give practical support such as financial management education.

“Our goal is to help people have the best chance of returning to work through exploring innovative non-medical approaches that address the ‘whole’ person… not just the physical element in isolation,” Chief Medical Officer Chris Colquhoun said.

“In addition, we know that the longer people are away from work, the greater their risk of social isolation and the likelihood of… further mental health issues, which can delay recovery.” 

The trial results will be evaluated and the program may be expanded further.