Staying in touch with family and friends

Social contact and close relationships are essential for a good quality of life.

Research shows that maintaining close relationships can significantly help your physical and emotional health, and that higher levels of social contact and interaction with friends and family can significantly improve your overall wellbeing.
If you have family and friends who live close to you, it’s good to see them as much as possible. It’s essential for your wellbeing to have an emotional and practical support network around you. 

Regular contact and spending time together will help you feel less emotionally vulnerable, and can prevent feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety and depression - which is key to maintaining good mental health. 
On a practical level, your family or friends may be able to help you out if you need an extra hand, for example taking you for medical appointments, on shopping trips, or they can be within easy reach if you have a last-minute emergency. 

What if my family or friends live far away?

If your family or close friends live far away and face-to-face contact is more difficult due to distance, there are ways in which to keep connected with them. You can stay in touch by:

  • Making frequent telephone calls
  • Using video chat on the internet. Programmes like Skype and most other web chat software have audio and video options where you can speak with people and see them online too - so it's almost as if they're in the same room as you
  • Specific apps for chatting 'live' and exchanging photos are available to download onto your tablet or smartphone
  • Social network sites such as Facebook can help you keep up to date with what your friends are doing, share photos and track down long lost friends and family you can reconnect with
  • Email enables you to write to anywhere across the globe and send photos for free.

What if I'm feeling lonely?

Perhaps you feel like you have nobody to connect with, and lack the opportunity for social interaction.  Maybe you feel lonely, isolated and would like to engage with more people.  Everybody needs someone to talk to and to feel like they belong. There are a variety of ways in which you can connect to others and make new friends, including Befriending and telephone befriending schemes.


  

Useful contacts:

GoLocal for Sheen, Mortlake, Barnes, Twickenham or Whitton
Phone: 020 8973 1877
Web:www.golocal.org.uk
Email: hello@golocal.org.uk

Community Partnership for Richmond, Kew, Ham, Petersham,Teddington or The Hamptons
Phone: 020 8831 6464
Web:www.commpartnership.co.uk
Email: advice@commpartnership.co.uk