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The importance of social connections for mental wellbeing
As social beings, humans need safe and secure social surroundings to live and grow. People thrive on connection and interaction with others – it is essential for wellbeing. However, loneliness is a growing problem in regional Queensland.
A recent study found that 43 per cent of all Queenslanders often feel very lonely, and the effects of loneliness on your health can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or obesity.
Feeling connected to others and your community has a profound impact on your mental health.
Positive connections can benefit you in many ways including:
- Feeling supported and connected can reduce stress and anxiety.
- Strong social connections can make you feel valued and appreciated which can boost self-esteem and confidence.
- Social connections give you a sense of belonging and community that can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- It is suggested that people with strong social connections are more likely to engage in positive behaviours, such as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.
- Social connections can help us to develop better coping skills to deal with stress and everyday challenges.
Nurturing healthy Connections
There are many things we can do to nurture our social connections to maintain and improve our mental health.
Below are some suggestions to help nurture healthy connections:
- make time for the people you care about
- be present when you're with others. Put away your phone and give your full attention
- be a good listener.
- offer help and support when needed
- be your authentic yourself.
Supporting regional Queenslanders
Making healthy connections takes effort, however the benefits of these relationships on your mental wellbeing can be positive. selectability provides services to help regional Queenslanders overcome loneliness, make friends and connect to their community.
Our programs provide support with a focus on mental health education, resilience building, and community connection. Learn more about our programs and services HERE
Help is available
If you or someone you care about is in immediate need of support, please contact:
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
- Standby - Support After Suicide 0438 648
Social connections are essential for our mental health. They provide us with support, love, and a sense of belonging. By nurturing our social connections, we can improve our mental wellbeing and live happier, healthier lives.
selectability acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we provide services and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge those with lived experience and those who support and partner with us to improve mental wellbeing and prevent suicide across regional Queensland.