Why should I strengthen my social network?

Being connected to a partner, family, friends, or a support group has been shown to improve mood and the ability to cope with adversity. A strong social network can even strengthen the immune system.  Most people who are able to cope with health problems such as amputation have strong social support networks with family, friends, and even pets. Some important types of support include emotional support or someone you trust with your most intimate thoughts, anxieties, and fears, and who trusts you; social support or someone you enjoy being with, who helps you cope with disappointments, and who celebrates your joys; informational support or someone you can ask for advice on major decisions; and practical support or someone who will help you out in a pinch (neighbors, a relative, or co‑workers).
As you seek to boost social support, try to identify these key people in your life and work to nurture these much-needed relationships. If you are having trouble thinking of people in any one of these areas, please realize that this is an important task you have to do—to reach out to broaden your personal relationships.
Picture of teens

Continue Learning about Mental Health Basics

How to Handle Adult Bullying
How to Handle Adult Bullying
You may think that bullying is perpetrated by nasty kids or mean teenagers. But in 2013, it happened among teammates in the NFL. Miami Dolphin second-...
Read More
What is the outlook for people with mental illness?
Thomas Bellinger, MDThomas Bellinger, MD
     As a family physician with a fairly extensive background in mental health diagnosis and treatme...
More Answers
How do I prepare for an appointment to discuss my mental health?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
To prepare for an appointment with your doctor or a therapist, write down when you noticed you start...
More Answers
What Common Addiction Behaviors Fascinate You?
What Common Addiction Behaviors Fascinate You?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.