The Challenge: Bolster Your Support Network

Why?

Cultivating and strengthening social support networks has been consistently associated with significant mental health benefits. The protective role of social support against mental health disorders is particularly associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Social connections can act as a buffer against the negative impact of stressful life events. Analysis of numerous studies has demonstrated a robust link between social relationships and mortality risk, suggesting that individuals with stronger social ties experience improved mental health. Moreover, a 2007 study investigated the role of social support in mitigating the adverse psychological effects of trauma, providing evidence for its positive impact on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) outcomes.*

 

How?

Building and maintaining relationships takes work and commitment. Relationships need to be nurtured. The core foundations of a relationship are the ability to identify each other’s needs, trust and respect, spend quality time, boundary setting, and healthy communication.**

Make time for those you care about. This can take the shape of a phone call to friend or family member who doesn’t live nearby. You may want to think about scheduling regular calls in order to strengthen your connection.  If you have friends and family nearby, make an effort to spend quality time together

Perhaps you need to expand your social support network. There are a lot of ways you can achieve this goal, many of which also involve engaging in other activities that can improve mental health. For example, you could regularly attend a class, join a book club, or volunteer with an organization working on a cause that is important for you. If you’re a parent or caregiver, you could attend child-centered activities that allow you to meet other caregivers. Story hours at local libraries are a great way to meet other caregivers who may also be looking to bolster their social network.

 

 

Start Here at the Library

We have a full calendar of events every month and always work to provide a safe and welcoming environment. If you like to knit, you could come by our Knitter’s Nook every Monday afternoon. If you like books, try our BYOB Book Club and meet other readers. New parent? Our weekly story hours are a great way to meet other new parents. You can learn more about everything that happens here by visiting the EVENTS page.

 

Trivia Buff?

Did you know that Kingston has two weekly trivia nights that are totally FREE. Every Tuesday at Keegan Ales and Thursdays at Rough Draft. There are typically teams looking for new players.

 

Action Minded?

Do you have a cause that your passionate about? If so, there is more than likely a group here in Kingston that shares your passion. A quick search will probably steer you in the right direction, but if you need help finding one, let us know. One of our librarians will be happy to connect you.

 

Just Want to Get Out?

We are fortunate to live in an area where there are always free events happening. If you just want to explore and find something fun to do, check out eventbrite’s free events listings and find others interested in the same things as you.

 

 

 

*Kawachi, I., & Berkman, L. F. (2001). Social ties and mental health. Journal of Urban Health, 78(3), 458-467.

*Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98(2), 310-357.

*Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Medicine, 7(7), e1000316.

**Patel, N. (2023, September 6). 15 realistic mental health goals to set in 2023. BROWN GIRL TRAUMA. https://browngirltrauma.com/mental-health-goals/