‘Feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world is more important than ever.’
By Interchange Australia Marketing Coordinator Kelly Taylor
Humans are inherently social creatures, for as long as the human race has been in existence we have travelled, sought companionship and thrived in social groups.
People with disability can sometimes have a much smaller social circle and can become isolated due to their inability to travel without assistance, difficulty in communicating and networking with others, health and a need for support to participate in social activities. Feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world is more important than ever.
There are many benefits of social connection:
Improved quality of life: Studies have shown that social connection is a greater determinant to your physical health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Social connection doesn’t just mean being with people, but also experiences of feeling understood and connected to others.
Boost mental health: Friendships offer many mental health benefits, such as increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced stress, greater self-worth and confidence. People with insufficient perceived social support are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Relationships with others help to protect a person against negative thoughts and behaviours, simply just by having someone to talk to, feeling accepted and confident. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk both mentally and physically.
At Interchange Australia we offer many opportunities through our Day Options and Peer Support programs each week with qualified and experienced support staff to ensure that participants are able to connect with peers and establish lifelong friendships and bonds as well as the development of interpersonal skills.
Our activities are designed to cater to everyone’s interests and hobbies and provide the stepping stones to building your social network by creating opportunities to go out to various locations, experience new things and spending time together. It is through shared experiences – whether it be over a coffee or dinner, or a weekend adventure such as a concert, a cruise, museums, art workshops or theme parks – forming strong healthy relationships with others starts here. These relationships can change the course of your life!
If you would like to know more about the range of activities we have on offer each week or would like to know how you can sign up and take that step, call our office on 02 4868 6688 or email us at [email protected].