How many friends do you have on facebook? How many of them will help you out when you are sick, need someone to watch your kids, need help with elderly parents who live alone?
Health suffers when people are isolated and lonely.
Having a sense of belonging and knowing who you can trust is one of the key indicators of health. In fact it ranks as second on the list of twelve! Increase sense of belonging and you increase social capital!
United Way’s priority is that people have the relationships they need to build a sense of belonging and improve their well-being. It is possible to support relationship building if you concentrate on the programs and initiatives that bring people together.
Why is this important?
Quite simply, people with a greater sense of belonging live longer! Research shows that people are happier and healthier when they feel connected to family, friends or neighbours.
Funding is aligned with these priorities. Some examples include:
- Providing training for residents and organizations to host community conversation that increases their well-being by connecting with others.
- Community Justice Society is developing social hubs through networks with residents and organizations in Halifax North End.
- The Halifax/Dartmouth Canadian Mental Health Association`s Building Bridges and Sharing & Caring clubs increase connections and support for people with mental illness.