Chapter 7

Making Social Connections

Connecting with others through your relationships, social and community activities helps to strengthen and improve your mental health and wellbeing. The benefits of increasing your social connections include higher self-esteem, greater trust, positive supportive relationships, and improved physical health. In addition, this reduces your loneliness and develops a safety net of people to provide you with extra support. Sometimes you may isolate yourself due to your mental health. However, maintaining or broadening your social connections will benefit you and your enjoyment of life.

Ways to engage and meet with new people:

  • Have a conversation or say ‘hi’ to people you see every day including people in your local cafe, park, supermarket or catching public transport
  • Arrange to meet someone new in a public place. Do not give out your personal information until you get to know them better
  • Join your local library or neighbourhood house. They often have fantastic groups and free activities
  • Contact your local council or look online to find out about local interest groups such as walking groups, special interest groups or sports clubs
  • Volunteer to help at your child’s/relative’s school, aged care facility, or for a cause you feel passionate about e.g., Vinnies, Australian Red Cross, etc
  • Join a Men’s Shed, Country Women’s Association (CWA) or Rotary Club
  • Attend local community events to get to know others in your area
  • Register with a job search organisation to learn new skills and improve your confidence
  • Register with University of the 3rd Age- U3A
  • Contact your local Adult Education Centre and see if any of their short courses may interest you
  • Join local support groups to expand your network
  • Attend your local church
  • Reconnect with distant friends or reach out to close ones

Worksheet 7: Making Social Connections

This Worksheet will help you list ways you would like to increase your social connections and the support you need to do this. e.g. Helper, transport, enrolment