Strong Social Connections Build a Resilient Community


Taking steps to be socially connected in your community can create a sense of belonging, care, value, and support.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is highlighting the importance of social connection because it increases our engagement in work, makes us more present in conversations, increases commitment to goals, and creates trust and resilience in a community.

Groups of people made up of friends, family members, coworkers, and community members provide a dose of regular positive contact to maintain healthy mental, physical, and emotional wellness.

“Our social communities, be it folks who are close to us in our local area or beyond, thrive when we interact with one another in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and other positive group environments,” said Tony Green, Interim Director of the Division of Behavioral Health. “Social connectedness can improve feelings of being cared for, valued, and appreciated by others which boosts a person’s overall well-being.”

Social connection is important to your overall wellness and mental health because it can:

  • Boost feelings of purpose and a sense of belonging,
  • Decrease risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke,
  • Provide a support system to better cope with hard times, stress, anxiety, and depression, and
  • Promote healthy eating habits and increase drive to be physically active.

There is not a universal standard on how individuals should connect with others as relationship building is deeply personal and a reflection of one’s inner self. However, we can check in with ourselves and reflect on different avenues to better engage with one another or share in bonding activities.

Recommendations for engaging in meaningful social connections:

  • Spend time in a group size that makes you comfortable.
  • Be mindful of the quantity of social activities or group size to avoid being overwhelmed or burnout.
  • Find a group that shares similar interests or take a class related to your favorite hobby.
  • Consider doing daily activities with a small group such as cooking or exercising.
  • Express gratitude by volunteering in your community or giving a compliment.
  • Connect in person as much as possible. If an in-person meeting does not work out, substitute a phone call for screen time.

Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:

  • The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; call, text, or chat 988.
  • Nebraska Family Helpline – Any question, any time. (888) 866-8660.
  • Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258.
  • Your faith-based leader, healthcare professional, or student health center on campus.