How to Find More Community Toward Better Mental Health

Talking about mental health in a community setting can help reduce the secrecy and shame too often associated with the topic. It can also encourage those struggling with their mental health to speak up and ask for help. Community offerings such as support groups provide a safe and supportive space in which to interact with peers who face similar challenges and gain insights into life struggles.

Finding other people to connect with isn’t always an easy task, though. The following tips may simplify the process, by offering some strategies for how to approach it, as well as some suggestions about where to look for mental health resources in the community.

Strategies for Building Connections and Community

Community, in its most basic sense, is connection. Connection is more likely to occur with like-minded people who share the same values, beliefs, and/or interests:

  • Values – Seeking volunteer opportunities with charities or non-profits that align with your values can help you connect with others who care about the same causes. Volunteering also allows you to give back to your community and help others in need.
  • Beliefs – Beliefs may be spiritual, religious, or political in nature. Visiting a meditation group or attending a religious service can introduce you to others with similar beliefs. Joining a political group or campaign working toward a shared goal you care about can be a great way to build community.
  • Interests – Meeting people through activities you enjoy is another way to broaden your community. Consider your interests. Do you like to read? Do you enjoy hiking and staying active? Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a pottery class or try your hand at poetry. Now may be an opportune time. Joining a recreational group activity can help you meet new people and improve your mental health by doing something you already enjoy.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin in the pursuit of more community. Your values, beliefs, and interests are a great place to start—they’re also a helpful guide to outlets for genuine connection.

Examples of Mental Health Resources at the Community Level

Like strategies for how to find more community, mental health resources at the community level can also be good to know. Here are some examples:

  • community programs for suicide prevention, developing stress coping skills, or accessing mental health resources;
  • mentoring programs that help individuals connect with others in similar situations;
  • support groups where individuals can receive feedback from their peers about coping with mental health challenges;
  • initiatives that raise public awareness about mental health issues and address stigmas;
  • creating community spaces for building relationships and identifying common needs;
  • activities that promote healthy self-care practices, including sleep, exercise, and nutrition;
  • community dialogues about mental health, trauma, or substance abuse
  • advocacy groups campaigning for policy changes that increase access to mental health and substance abuse resources.

Don’t underestimate the mental health benefits of community. It can make a world of difference for anyone, not just those facing mental health challenges. These tips and suggestions may help you find more of it.