“I've got a very strong network around me, which is really important.”
The connections you make through relationships, places, and activities in your community can build a safety net for your physical and mental health. Healthy relationships with family, friends, partners and co-workers, and having a pet, are known to lower levels of anxiety and depression, and raise self-esteem.
Connecting with your spirituality, cultural heritage, and the outdoors can also be a source of comfort and meaning if you're facing challenges in your life.
If you are experiencing a mental health condition, you may want to avoid connecting with others. But this can make it harder to cope and recover.
Whether it's spending time with a friend, chatting to someone in your community, joining a sports team, a choir or group of like-minded people, going to a place of worship, or offering to help someone else — staying connected can help to keep you well.
A closer look
Connecting socially through creative activities can improve mental health
If you feel lonely, you're not alone
Connecting with the natural environment can restore mental health
As people get older, the risk factors for experiencing loneliness increase
Connecting with cultural heritage strengthens identity and wellbeing
My best friend still lives in Papua New Guinea, but we are in constant contact thanks to social media. We speak almost every day. He's been really supportive over the years.
One of the biggest things I've learnt over my life is how important love and acceptance is. Talking to others, and hearing them too, is a very validating experience.
I need to be around people, even though it's not easy at times. You get out of your own head that way.