The subjects of loneliness and isolation are increasingly finding their way into conversation about health. Earlier this year the UK appointed a Minister for Loneliness after research revealed that “more than nine million people in the country often or always feel lonely.”
Psychologist Susan Pinker addressed this issue of social cohesion, and the influence of close personal relationships on life expectancy, in her TEDx Talk “The secret to living longer may be your social life.”
Just as an individual life can be made healthier by having closer relationships, the same is true about community health. The more we connect with one another locally, the greater connectivity is among neighbours and community members. The more people we know and the more we know about the people around us the stronger the important bridging ties are between us. These ties are essential to the strength of our social fabric.
Tim Horton’s latest marketing campaign illustrates how simple it is to take steps towards broadening our social circles. Their “Coffee With Neighbours” video is worth watching.
With projects such as Share Thanksgiving, Engage knows the importance of making connections between our tightly knit, but often closed communities. It’s exciting to see this belief penetrating the mainstream more and more lately.
Life.School.House in Dartmouth is one creative example of how people are creating opportunities for communities to come together.
Do you have an example of how you or your community address the issue of social cohesion? Tell us about it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org