How often do you have family dinner, hang out with your friends, or call your relatives...? Social connectedness (see video above) is essential to wellbeing, but loneliness is being identified as a growing danger at all ages. The UK has even appointed a "Minister of Loneliness" to combat "the sad reality of modern life"!
Evidence shows that loneliness affects physical health, mental health and even lifespan, with loneliness increasing risk of death by up to 26%. Social isolation can be exacerbated by disabilities that affect mobility, hearing, speech, cognition, etc. Fortunately there are ways to meet people with shared interests, as well as many support groups for different purposes--both in-person and online.
This next short video shows Demi Lovato discussing the value of DBSA support groups for people with mood disorders:
One very effective social support for people who are coping with a mental illness is peer support services. In CT, peer support is provided by trained Recovery Support Specialists (RSS's) and Recovery Coaches, and through social clubs such as the Bridge House clubhouse and the programs at Keystone House, Laurel House and Pathways. There are proven benefits--which is why next year we hope to pass legislation to increase reimbursement of these services!
Welcome to Week 4 of our annual Mental Health Awareness Month email campaign!
Each week during May we will send an email with videos, links to resources, and upcoming events to provide awareness and support. We hope you'll find the info helpful and pay it forward by sharing these emails with your family, friends and colleagues! (Click for week 1, week 2, and week 3.)
This year, our council members chose the 8 Dimensions of Wellness as the theme for our May videos. In keeping with this week's social connectedness theme, read about:
the findings from our CAC forum on peer support in behavioral health;
school recess as an opportunity to build connections;
Next week's awareness events include:
NAMI Walk (Saturday, Hartford)
opening reception for "Expression in Color" by art therapist Kathryn Fitzgerald (Sunday, Wilton)
Mental Health First Aid course (Monday & Tuesday, Greenwich)
the film Angst (Monday in Norwalk and Wilton)
book club on An Unquiet Mind (Monday, Greenwich)
book signing & meet the authors of The Bridesmaid's Daughter (Tuesday, Darien)
screening of Suicide: The Ripple Effect (Wednesday, Norwalk)
For details on each of these, or events coming up the following week, visit our May page and scroll down.
Seeking help for yourself or a loved one?
Find professional and peer support for mental health or substance use challenges
Try a mental wellness app from this list
Check in on your mental health: free online screening in English or Spanish with NEW! psychosis screen