Social Connection During Social Isolation

May 7

How might these uncertain times, marked by extended periods of social isolation, be impacting us and the ones we love? Social isolation may be especially challenging for those living alone or in unsafe situations. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in domestic violence reports. Additionally, even when we seem to have all we need, we often don’t. Social isolation can result in painful experiences of loneliness and disconnection, which have been found to negatively impact both physical and mental health. This may be especially problematic for people already experiencing and/or predisposed to depression and other forms of mental illness. Suicide risk is an additional consideration during these times, as social support and social contact play a key role in identifying and preventing suicidality.

What Can We Do?

Ensure that you are socially connecting, even if it’s more difficult and/or you don’t feel up for it (this is the important part!):

  • Reach out to old friends/family and ask to arrange a phone call, FaceTime conversation, or Zoom get-together on a regular basis. Also, if someone you care about reaches out to you, try to make time to connect to make sure they are safe.
  • Send written notes, letters, and cards.
  • Seek out a community organization that is hosting virtual events/conversations and try to incorporate this contact into your weekly routine.
  • Get out of your house safely by visiting outdoor spaces where social distancing is practiced appropriately and engage in at-a-distance forms of connection (e.g., smiling, nodding, waving, say hello).
  • Look for signs in yourself and others that indicate that additional support might be needed (e.g., extended periods of sadness, persistent negative thoughts, changes in appetite and/or sleep patterns, loss of interest in engaging in activities, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts) and seek professional support.

If you find that you or someone you know is struggling during this time and needs extra support, resources are available. Don’t wait. The sooner you seek help, the better.

  • Many mental health providers, including KKJ, are offering telehealth therapy and consultation services: contact us
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is available 24/7:
  • If you ever feel there is an immediate safety risk, seek emergency services by calling 911.

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