Feeling connected to others in our life, either family, friends or other people in our community, is one of the most important factors of good mental health and wellbeing.
People affected by mental health issues, including families, friends and carers, often report feeling isolated and lonely. Being part of a family, having friends and feeling connected with others, is one of the most important things in life, but many people feel unsure about how to meet new people or make connections.
Feeling more connected
Identify your ‘ticket’ out of isolation
Everybody has qualities and gifts, such as humour, generosity or wisdom, that will appeal to others and could help in making connections.
Make use of your interests
What are you passionate about? Are there old interests that can be revived or new ones to try?
Extend an invitation
Don’t wait for the perfect person or event to come along, ask people in your community if they would be willing to offer friendship or join you in an activity.
Find bridge builders
Identify people in your community who have good connections. Ask these people to introduce you to others.
Broaden your horizons
Look for ways to meet a wide range of people in your community. Focus on activities that involve getting to know others.
Important connections can grow out of daily routines, such as the waitress who remembers your coffee order and then your name, or the bus driver who drives your route every day.
Rekindle and nurture existing relationships
Explore how current relationships can be strengthened. What more could you do to stay in touch?
After some time out, you may be unsure of what you enjoy doing. Challenge yourself to try new things and step out of your comfort zone.
Tap into community wisdom
Brainstorming with others creates ideas and opportunities that you might not come up with alone.
Draw your social map
Identify the main people in your life to get ideas for starting points.
Take your time
Building a network is a gradual process and you can take it as slowly as you like. Even just starting to think about how you might connect is a great step
Remember, a community is not necessarily related to your suburb or postcode. You can find ‘community' with friends, colleagues, teams and other social situations.