Elemental's Digital Social Prescribing Platform

North West Regional College (@mynwrc) has joined forces with award-winning company, Elemental Software, in a groundbreaking new partnership which will revolutionise the way students can access support services and programmes.

NWRC, which has five campuses in Derry~Londonderry, Strabane and Limavady, will be the first ever Further and Higher College to adopt Elemental’s Digital Social Prescribing Platform, which will enhance student wellbeing, build resilience, and promote new ways of working using social prescribing.

Finneen Bradley, Manager of NWRC’s Careers Academy, said the partnership with Elemental will provide the college with a clear, high-tech referral pathway to provide support when needed.

She added: “This partnership marks an important development in the college’s commitment to our student wellbeing programme.

“2020 has been a difficult time for everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the wellbeing and mental health of our students, so there has never been a more urgent need for the college to introduce digital social prescribing.

“Not only will the platform allow us to bring all our internal services together, but we will also be able to connect our students to other services that are available in the wider community. Students can make their own self-referral, or they can be referred through a staff member. This will all be coordinated through our Safeguarding team and the staff in our Careers Academy.

“The Elemental Platform will also allow us, for the first time, to access baseline metrics in relation to the referral systems, so we can continually update and improve our services.”

Jennifer Neff, Chief Executive of Elemental Software said:

“We are delighted to welcome locally based NWRC as the first ever digital social prescribing FE College.

“Social prescribing is a growing movement that connects people with a range of non-clinical programmes, services and events in their local community. It seeks to address people’s needs across a number of areas such as financial stability, accommodation, digital inclusion, physical activity, diet and nutrition, mental health and social support.

“By embedding Elemental’s digital social prescribing platform into Student Wellbeing and Inclusion Programmes, NWRC can connect students with non-clinical services internally and externally to support a range of issues that impact on student health and wellbeing needs.

“This means that students will have access to a whole system approach to wellbeing, while also empowering them to take control of their health. It also provides NWRC with the tools needed to provide holistic care for their students.”

The partnership will aim to enhance student wellbeing, build resilience and promote new ways of working using a replicable model of social prescribing. Co-created referral pathways will ensure students can access support within the college and local community to improve mental health and wellbeing, helping to bridge the gap between education and the wider community.

The ambition is that this approach can and will be scaled and adopted by all colleges across Northern Ireland, with NWRC leading the way.

By introducing Elemental’s digital social prescribing platform, NWRC will:

  • Connect students with non-clinical services within and beyond the college to support a range of health and wellbeing needs
  • Allow students to self-refer into community support via Elemental’s website module
  • Embed a clear referral pathway and provide support when needed
  • Offer referrals to services via chaplains, personal tutors, counsellors, housing, health, funding, and inclusion officers
  • Measure and report on the impact of the Student Wellbeing programmes
  • Reduce avoidable GP appointments and NHS escalations, saving time, cost, and resources
  • Easily manage everything from within Elemental’s digital social prescribing platform, meaning a seamless and simplified user journey
  • Produce a sustainable social prescribing model addressing the identified wellbeing needs of all students.

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