According to a KFF research and health tracking poll. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession has negatively affected many peoples mental and emotional health. It reports 4 out of 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. Coupling that with a reported increased use of alcohol and substance abuse.
Further research has shown the pandemic highlighted a world in mental health crisis. Individuals felt isolated and alone. Studies conducted have discovered a major increase in depression and anxiety from 11% reported in January 2019 to 41% in January 2021 according to the KFF report. The commonality of the isolation and the unknown has led to overwhelmed mental health system.
If we are to recover from isolation induced mental health disorders. We as communities need to come together and heal through collective support. Strong engaging communities are safer, healthier and happier Studies have proven when we strengthen the bonds of community. Making positive connections makes us feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and we become more resilient. This resilience can help for not only this pandemic but for future challenges knowing as an individual we can rely on our communities for support.
Bringing individuals together through joy filled events and shared fun & laughter helps build healthy, resilient communities. Here are a few simple ways we can start building and rebuilding healthy happy communities (of course always practicing social safety guidelines).
What new craft or hobby did you pick up?. I myself learned more about bike tune-ups and repairs that I can share or barter with others. Form a day where you can trade with each month and offer trades.
As we come out of this year it is important to remember, though we may not have been in the same boat, all of us were in the same storm. Most (if not all) can appreciate the small things that helped us through the isolation of the pandemic. Whether it was a new skill we learned, zoom calls with family, or the realization of what we appreciate and what we can do without. Building and rebuilding strong, happy communities is important to the healing process and all of our mental and emotional wellbeing.