“Living in the country dials down my stress levels, which is so critical for my mental health. There are real emotional benefits to being so close to nature – I love to go bushwalking regularly and photographing wildlife.”
It is not just our home environment that influences us; the neighbourhood in which we live does too. A close-knit neighbourhood can provide a sense of belonging, safety, and support.
Feeling safe is important for mental health and overall wellbeing. Factors that can contribute to a feeling of neighbourhood safety include: seeing other people out and about, having friends who live nearby, access to useful facilities, and positive relationships with neighbours.
When you feel that your neighbourhood is safe, you are more likely to take part in group activities, or even just go out for a walk. When that feeling of safety is missing, you may be wary of going out, which in turn can have a negative effect on your physical health.
There are some personal factors that can affect feelings of safety in the neighbourhood. Mobility, disability, and being alone are a few examples. Whether you have experienced crime in your neighbourhood, or observed social unrest, you may find it harder to feel that your neighbourhood is safe. At times you may have trouble connecting with neighbours, which can make you feel vulnerable.
There are many benefits to an active and supportive neighbourhood community. Find out more about safe, stable, and secure, and home and housing.
A closer look
The wellbeing of society depends on the wellbeing of neighbourhoods
You can feel safe in your neighbourhood
Walking a dog can make you feel safer
Safety for older people differs to people of other ages
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.