Creating and sustaining a community around you is important to your mental health. Humans are social creatures, meaning our brains are wired to seek connection with others. These connections allow us to share interests and feel a sense of belonging and security.
As young as infancy, babies will point to objects as a way to share their interests and enjoy seeing their caregiver show interest in return. The need to be in relationships with one another is deeply ingrained in our DNA.
For BIPOC individuals, making connections with those of similar backgrounds has not only provided a sense of belonging and solidarity but has also been a necessary method of survival. Through the power of community connection, BIPOC individuals have been able to sustain themselves and their cultural values.
Advocate for Mentally Healthy Spaces
Connecting with others in your community is easier when you are in a healthy environment.
- Educate others. Talk to your community about why it’s importance to create spaces that are welcoming and inclusive for people with mental health challenges.
- Start conversations. Sometimes just speaking up about mental health will encourage others to share their experiences and concerns.
- Organize wellness events. Work with community organizations, leaders, and mental health professionals to organize events and activities that promote mental health and well-being.
- Advocate for the creation of safe spaces. Whether it’s a community center, spiritual gathering place, or school, advocate and work toward creating safe spaces where people can feel comfortable talking about their mental health challenges without fear of judgment or stigma.
- Seek support. Connect with mental health professionals and community resources to get the support you need in your neighborhood or community.