Did you know that being actively involved in your community has a positive effect on your mental health and emotional wellbeing? Different kinds of community participation get you out of your head, using your body, interacting with others, and gives you a sense of belonging and social connectedness.
Recent research shows that around a third of Australian adults are not getting involved in social or community groups. Making new friends and acquaintances – and staying connected with existing relationships – not only improves health and wellbeing but it gives meaning and purpose to day-to-day life.
And we don’t only mean for NDIS participants. Whether you’re the disability/social supporter or supportee, community participation benefits all of us. But what exactly do we mean by “connecting with your community”?
Communities are created by a shared location, hobbies, experiences or backgrounds. They can exist online or in person or both. And there are a whole bunch of different ways you can get involved in a community to improve your headspace, self-worth and how you live your life.
To start with, you could Google what kinds of activities are taking place or groups are meeting at your local community hall, neighbourhood centre, library or in the local churches. Or Sanity Care could work with you to find the people, places and spaces that are right for you.
Sanity Care helps people with disability by connecting them to their community through social interaction. We offer a wide range of one to one community access, community outreach activities, and group activities for people with disabilities.
Each activity is designed individually to support people with physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities to stay in touch with their community and have plenty of fun along the way. Social engagement and community participation is such an essential part of life, and disability should not stop anyone from participating in their community.
We have had such fun attending concerts and theatre performances and going to the movies. If you prefer to keep active, we also love to go swimming and ten pin bowling and other low-impact sports. And if that’s not your speed, we love a good crochet, knit, scrapbook or craft. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good crafternoon?! We can help you learn how to get yourself to community events on public transport or we can even help you learn to drive!
Remember how I said community participation helps both the support worker and the NDIS participant? Well, I’ll leave you with this encouraging info: people who volunteer in their community have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.
So, why wouldn’t you get involved in your community? If you want to get connected with your community – as either a support worker or someone who would like support through the NDIS – then get in contact with Sanity Care. Let’s all improve our wellbeing together.