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Social prescribing at Bath

Improve your mental health and wellbeing with our supported art, gardening and exercise programmes.

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing offers a non-medical alternative, or addition, to mental health support. It recognises that our health and wellbeing is not just a medical issue, but something that is also affected by our social and economic situation and our physical environment. It therefore enables healthcare professionals to prescribe social activities to improve mental health and wellbeing. Our social prescribing programme connects students to groups and activities that aim to improve low mood, reduce loneliness and social isolation and help manage anxiety.

What can I do?

We offer several social prescribing opportunities for students:

  • Art for Wellbeing
  • Gardening for Wellbeing
  • Prescription for Exercise

All of our courses are all fully funded and there is no cost to students.

Please note you can only sign up for one course at a time.

Art for Wellbeing

When: Starts Wednesday 19 October 2022, 2pm to 3:30pm (then every Wednesday until 7 December 2022)
Where: The Fine Art Studio at The Edge
Duration: 8 Weeks

Our 8 week Art for Wellbeing course is designed for students who are struggling with their mental health and interested in improving their wellbeing and social connections through art.

Spending time making and creating with other people can help us to manage stress and low mood, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, and improve our sense of belonging and overall wellbeing. No previous art experience is necessary for this course - just curiosity and a willingness to have a go.

This course is facilitated by Bristol-based artist and illustrator Sarah Dennis, and participants will try out a range of creative techniques such as collaging, print making and paper cutting. You will also visit the beautiful Holburne Museum in Bath. Sarah provides a calming environment at each of her sessions, explaining how “paper cutting is creative and therapeutic, focusing the mind and steadying the hand while bringing about a serene sense of achievement”.

If you would like to sign up to this course please email Hannah via stating why you wish to attend.

Gardening for Wellbeing

When: Every Wednesday and Saturday 2pm to 4pm
Where: Cotswold House Garden, on campus
Duration: ongoing

Gardening for Wellbeing runs every Wednesday and Saturday.

Through gardening, you will can enjoy the wellbeing benefits being outside in nature, such as reducing stress and anxiety and improving your mood and sense of wellbeing. You will meet new people in a supportive outdoor environment, and have the chance to make new friends and connections, so it’s a great activity if you are feeling a bit lonely or isolated at University. The group is small, friendly and welcoming and no knowledge or experience is needed.

You will learn a range of gardening skills, from maintaining a vegetable patch and growing plants in the greenhouse to making unique planters and garden crafts. Activities will vary depending on the weather and season.

Find out more and book via MySkills.

Prescription for Exercise

When: October 2022
Where: Campus / Sports Training Village
Duration: 8 weeks

Prescription for Exercise (PfE) is an eight week programme designed to help increase motivation and alleviate low mood. Exercise has been shown to help reduce signs of depression as well as increase motivation. This programme is designed specifically to support students who are struggling with ongoing low mood and low motivation.

During this eight week programme you will receive access to the Sports Training Village, have three individual sessions with a personal trainer, and be supported by an “exercise mentor”. Alongside this, you will meet with a wellbeing adviser at the mid and end points of the programme to help monitor your mood and address any concerns that arise during this time.

An exercise mentor is a friendly face to support you during the programme. They will join you for an activity once a week, helping you to find activities you may want to try and encourage you to continue exercising during and after the programme. You personal trainer will offer bespoke guidance, advice and support throughout the duration of the program, and help you identify and work towards your gym and fitness goals.

The sessions will not necessarily need to take place inside the gym. We use all indoor and outdoor areas of the Sports Training Village, and it is important to us that you feel comfortable in the environment you will be exercising in. The programme caters for gym users of all abilities from complete beginners to intermediates.

If you are experiencing low mood or low motivation and would like to access this exercise programme please contact Hannah via

If you are experiencing low mood, low motivation and/or depression you can also book an appointment with the Wellbeing Team to discuss the support available to you.

Other wellbeing groups and activities

We offer a range of events, activities, workshops and courses to support your wellbeing. These are all listed on Be Well events and are continually updated throughout the year. They include dog walking, cooking classes, gardening club and LGBTQ+ workshops.

We also run a weekly Social Networking Group for students who are feeling lonely or isolated at university and a number of counselling courses and workshops to help you manage mental health problems and develop emotional wellbeing.

Support with your mental health and wellbeing

If you want to speak to our Wellbeing Team about your mental health or wellbeing please book a wellbeing appointment.