Social network support

Grow your social network
Help others
Try something new

Contact our Village Agents

Our Village Agents are here to help you find community-based solutions. They can put you in touch with local groups and community services. Village Agents are available through our practices or you can contact them online using the call back service. 

This is what people say about Village Agents: 

"Thank you so much for all of your help, we have made contact with the microprovider that you put us in touch with and she is great. Your service is really invaluable, thank you so, so much."

"Village Agents are a god send!"

Tips for growing your social network

Staying connected to other people is good for our mental health. Growing a social support network of friends, family and other people can help support us in times of stress or need. In turn, providing support to others also helps us. A social support network is different from a support group, which can be a structured meeting run by a leader or mental health professional.

These are some of the ways you can develop and keep lasting relationships with others:

  • Contact your Village Agents for local groups and events
  • Stay in touch. Answering phone calls, returning emails and reaching out to others lets people know you care
  • Don't compete. Be happy instead of jealous when others succeed
  • Be a good listener. Listen when your friends and find out what's important to them
  • Don't overdo it. Be careful not to overwhelm friends and family with phone calls and emails. Save those times for when you really need them
  • Appreciate your friends and family. Take time to say thank you and tell them how important they are to you
  • Give back. Be around for family and friends when they need support

Although both support groups and support networks can be important in times of stress or loneliness, a social support network is something you can develop when you're not under stress. It provides the comfort of knowing that others are there for you if you need them.

Benefits of growing your social network

A goal of building your social support network is to reduce your stress level, not add to it. Watch for situations that seem to drain your energy. For example, avoid spending too much time with someone who is constantly negative and critical. Similarly, steer clear of people involved in unhealthy behaviours, such as alcohol or substance abuse.

Taking the time to build a social support network is good for your mental wellbeing and physical health. Start making more friends or improving the relationships you already have. Whether you're the one getting the support or the one encouraging others, you'll reap rewards.

Benefits of social support include:

  • Improving the ability to cope with stressful situations
  • Reducing the effects of emotional distress
  • Promoting lifelong good mental health
  • Enhancing self-esteem
  • Lowering cardiovascular risks, such as lowering blood pressure
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors
  • Helping to stick to a treatment plan