“… a proven stimulus of innovation —  the meeting of unlike minds.”
Thomas Stewart, 2001

Info for Wellbeing and the Global Social Prescribing Alliance

The Three-Legged Stool is a well-used but effective analogy of elements in balance required for a given outcome. Unlike Minds used it recently when they contributed to the document “Good Health and Wellbeing – Social Prescribing: the Playbook of the Global Social Prescribing Alliance (GSPA) launched at the G20 “Global Solutions” Summit in Berlin May 27th 2021.

The document was a collaboration between the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP – a UK National Health Service initiative) and the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) with the support of UNGSII. The GSPA is founded on 6 principles for advancing social prescribing, the 6th being right in Unlike Minds’ wheelhouse:

“Harnessing Digital Solutions to enhance information and meaning.”

“Support digital initiatives for patient engagement in shared decision-making, recognising the importance of patients’ goals, values and preferences, informed by high quality information to implement empowering practices and goal-oriented, person-centred care that deliver high quality and lasting results.”

As Information Strategy lead for the WHIS, Unlike Minds founding associate David Dickinson was asked to provide a section of the GSPA document focusing on information for wellbeing.


Medical Prescribing, Activity for Health and Info for Wellbeing.

The stool was a convenient way of expressing the importance of Info for Wellbeing alongside both social and medical prescribing in order to provide “Balanced Support of the Whole Person’s Health and Wellbeing.” 

During the planning for our part of this document however, it transpired that while the term social prescribing is well known in the UK and Ireland, it conveys little meaning beyond. This is why we coined the phrase Activity for Health as an alternative. Whether the meme will stick, only time will tell.

The key word is balance. Most western health services are predicated on a pathogenic model – if you get ill, we will treat you. There is however a growing recognition, emphasised by a review of the Covid experience so far, that this supply side model will be increasingly difficult to sustain and needs to be balanced out with an approach which encourages people to participate in their own wellness. It is reassuring that this document emphasises the role of the individual as an active participant in their own healthcare.

The invitation to contribute did not come out of the blue. For a few years Unlike Minds has shared their work on personal information navigation with WHIS and together we aspire to develop our i-Space Navigator solution, initially as the front end to WHIS’s many digital resources.

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