The Importance of Connection: Managing Your Mental Health

For many people, excessive loneliness and isolation take a toll on their mental health. Organizations such as Rising Phoenix’s outpatient mental health treatment center located in Scottsdale, Arizona recognize the importance of meaningful connections. Connecting to others can help bring a sense of purpose and support. Individuals recovering from mental illnesses can find accountability, insight, and further support in connection. For some, connecting may mean staying in contact with family and friends, being part of a sports team, or attending religious services. Others may find benefit in staying connected to treatment for mental health for substance abuse. In today’s day and age with social distancing, staying connected is much more difficult. With the barriers put in place for some forms of social interaction to keep society safe, managing your mental health and understanding the importance of connection is a necessity.

Benefits of Connection

While isolation can be due to limitations in social contact, one can also feel lonely in a crowded room. Feeling lonely has the potential to increase anxiety, depression, substance use, and worsen symptoms of other mental illnesses. The pandemic has left many people feeling the mental and physical effects of loneliness. Holding on to and creating meaningful connections can help combat feelings of loneliness.

Staying connected with others provides people with many great benefits. Having social connections can better people’s mental health such as reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can provide a sense of purpose. A purpose could mean being a good teammate or group leader. It may mean being there for friends and family. It creates a feeling of importance and belonging. Staying connected also creates a support network around the individual. When feeling particularly low or nervous about an upcoming job interview, having friends and family there may lighten their mood and provide encouragement.

Treatment

Sometimes managing one’s own mental health needs a bit of extra help. Getting connected to treatment centers such as Rising Phoenix’s outpatient program located in Scottsdale Arizona, joining support groups, or seeking individual therapy can provide that extra help. There are many different forms of treatment for mental health that provide similar and different services. It is important to find the right one that fits you and your needs. Some examples may include:

  • Residential
    Residential treatment offers a higher level of care for more intense and unmanageable mental illnesses and substance abuse. The focus is rehabilitation in a controlled safe environment. The length of stay may vary based on each facility.
  • Intensive Outpatient/Outpatient
    Usually consisting of group therapy and occasionally other services such as individual therapy, couples counseling, and psychiatric visits. Patients do not stay on the premises but must meet specific weekly hour requirements in attending services. Rising Phoenix Wellness Services located in Scottsdale, Arizona is an example of a facility that offers outpatient mental health treatment.
  • Individual Therapy
    These are one-on-one sessions with a licensed therapist. Some therapists may also offer services such as couples or family counseling. The client and counselor will meet and utilize different therapeutic resources to address the client’s issues.
  • Support Groups
    There are a variety of support groups for many different purposes. Examples may include Alcoholics Anonymous, NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), or Grief Counseling Groups.

Other Forms of Connection

There are many ways to stay connected with others despite social distancing. Technological advances allow people to stay connected despite long distances. Catching up with friends and family may not mean meeting up in person but utilizing today’s technology makes it still possible. Phone/video calls, messaging, or sending photos/videos are great ways to stay in contact safely. There are many different websites and applications that offer games for people to play with friends at a distance.

For those that don’t have a lot of established connections, developing a hobby or two is a great way to start. Hobbies can be something enjoyable for the individual and help them find others with similar interests. There are many online forums for all types of interests where people can talk about their specific activity. Some organizations may even hold events where people can attend remotely.

Telehealth has become increasingly popular and available throughout the pandemic. Telehealth is a technologically based service that utilizes items such as computers or phones allowing for people to access therapy and other health services remotely. It can be a great tool for people that need extra help with their mental health but want to practice social distancing. Many support groups have also gone online through means such as Zoom. People can access AA, NAMI, and other meetings without leaving their homes.

Take the steps today to decrease feelings of loneliness and manage your mental health.

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