- BALM is about Embracing a Holistic Approach: BALM is baking as lifestyle medicine. It embodies a holistic approach to healthcare by recognizing the interconnections between physical health, mental well-being, and social factors. As a clinical prescriber, embrace this holistic perspective and consider how baking and the BALM protocol can contribute to comprehensive patient care.
- Listen and Engage: We are all rushed. There is often very little time to spend with a patient, but use the time to actively listen to your patients and engage in meaningful conversations about their health goals and challenges. We train you to bake so that in just a few moments, you can build a strong therapeutic relationship based on trust, and empathy is essential for successful social prescribing. Your favourite recipe, flour or even your top tip for your starter will make a huge difference to your patient’s engagement. There is not much time to understand each person’s unique circumstances, preferences, and barriers to effectively tailor the BALM prescription to their needs, but you can suggest they ask us about a favourite bread or recipe, and we’ll likely have something similar in the recipe library.
- Keep attending the live sessions; you can keep up with your continued Professional Development: Stay updated with the latest research, developments, and best practices in lifestyle medicine, nutritional psychiatry, and social prescribing. Engage in continued professional development opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills.
- Collaborate with Multidisciplinary Teams: Social prescribing often involves collaboration with various healthcare professionals, community organizations, and support networks. Foster strong partnerships with these stakeholders to provide comprehensive care for your patients. Leverage the expertise and resources available within the community to support the holistic well-being of your patients. We are training many bakers to teach, and you may find BALM bakers in your area and link to other food networks.
- Measure and Evaluate Outcomes: Regularly assess and evaluate the outcomes and impact of the BALM prescription on your patient’s health and well-being. Use appropriate measurement tools, self-assessment forms, and feedback mechanisms to gather valuable data. This data can inform treatment adjustments, help identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate the effectiveness of social prescribing interventions. We love to hear any news – as long as it is not breaching confidentiality.
- Advocate for Social Equality: Social prescribing is rooted in the principles of equality and social justice. Advocate for policies and initiatives that address social determinants of health and reduce health inequities. Collaborate with community organizations and policymakers to create an environment that supports access to resources, healthy lifestyles, and improved well-being for all individuals wherever possible. You can always ask for any help if we can; we will support local initiatives.
- Self-Care and Well-being: As a clinical prescriber, prioritize your own self-care and well-being. Balancing your professional responsibilities with personal well-being is crucial for maintaining the energy, compassion, and resilience needed to effectively support your patients. Take time to practice BALM and take time for self-reflection, practice self-care activities, and seek support from peers and us when needed. We are here, and there is always someone on hand to help.
Remember that social prescribing with BALM is not just about prescribing a treatment—it’s about empowering individuals, addressing the social determinants of health, and fostering holistic well-being.
You are the link .. it is your role as a clinical prescriber that is instrumental in facilitating positive change in your patients’ lives. It is you in this moment as you invite your patient to join a community and bake as lifestyle medicine that makes a difference and contributes to the transformation of healthcare toward a more holistic, patient-centred approach.