“My daughter has got some very close friends who have stuck by her when she became unwell. Having this kind of support is so important.”
The connections you make - through relationships, places, or activities - can build a safety net for your physical and mental health.
People have always relied on friendships for companionship and support. Friends can prevent you from feeling lonely or isolated. When you know that a friend will listen to your problems and accept you just as you are, it can make you feel stronger and more grounded. Talking things over with a friend can give you a different point of view about what’s troubling you.
You may thrive on having many friends, or you may prefer being close to only one or two people. It can sometimes be better for your wellbeing to have one or two close friends than lots of acquaintances.
Friendships are dynamic; you can become closer or more distant with time, depending on the experiences you have together. The tough part is that making new friends and keeping up with old ones can sometimes feel more difficult if you’re struggling with your mental health.
The beauty of friendship is that it works both ways. Giving support to a friend can be as good for your mental health and wellbeing as receiving it. If you want to help a friend through a rough time and you don’t know where to start, take a look at our page on supporting friends.
A closer look
Having friends may make you feel less anxious
Live longer and healthier with a network of friends
Learn how to recognise genuine friendships
Friends can influence your happiness and mental health
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.