“I need to be around people, even though it's not easy at times. You get out of your own head that way.”
Being part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.
Communities can exist or be created from a shared location, hobbies, lived experiences and backgrounds, or a common cause. For many people, communicating with others – through online forums, social media, or in person – can help them to have a healthier mindset, improved self-worth, and greater enjoyment of life.
Around one-third of Australian adults are not involved in any social or community groups. Having people to talk to and depend on, and making new connections through hobbies or a social group can help reduce the risk of mental illness.
There are many activities that can help increase your sense of belonging. Learning a language or martial art, volunteering, or joining a dancing group are a few options. As a first step, you can find out what meetups are taking place in your local centres, and take it forward from there.
We have a few resources to help you get started. We also have pages on social connectedness, hobbies, and more.
A closer look
Recreational physical activity improves mental health
Worldwide studies show social participation is directly linked to mental wellbeing
Friendships and peer social support protects mental health in young people
Stigma and social exclusion impacts mental wellbeing
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.