Social isolation exists when a person lacks a sense of belonging, isn’t engaging with others, and has few social connections and quality relationships. Social connections help give our lives purpose and meaning. When we have family, friends, and coworkers to celebrate and commiserate with, and when we feel part of our communities, we live longer, healthier lives.
There is a wealth of literature illustrating the importance of social support and connection in improving health and other outcomes at the individual and community level, and many leading authorities identify social support and good social relations as key determinants of health and well-being.
Belonging to a strong social network that requires communication and mutual obligation makes people feel cared for and valued. Research has shown that people who feel a stronger sense of belonging to their local community tend to live healthier lives and have fewer mental health challenges than those who lack emotional connection.
The sociability of a place also impacts safety and crime. Crime and violence are key underlying factors in determining the health, or lack of, of a neighborhood or built environment.
We want to support the community in promoting and enhancing meaningful social relationships and work to increase social connectedness across all stages and ages of life. Toward that end, we will support efforts to increase connections to community resources and to one another.