Sometimes, people with mental illnesses and addiction are lonely. They think that they’re the only ones who have ever experienced what they’re experiencing. They may feel ashamed because of what’s happening to them and may isolate themselves.

People should remember mental illnesses lie to people. While people may feel lonely, they are probably not as alone as they think they are. Addiction and mental illnesses are extremely common. They’re so common that many people who have experienced them have used these experiences to reach out and help.

To lend a helping hand, people may work in addiction treatment centers or private practices to lend much-needed assistance. They may participate in 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other programs to help others and help themselves in the process.

Community wellness centers also help people with their mental health needs. They encourage people to meet in groups through

  • Support groups
  • Social activities
  • Group recreational outings
  • Networking events
  • Seminars, workshops, and other learning opportunities

Interaction allows people to support each other. If people with mental illnesses lead groups, they may serve as role models to other group members. Members of groups may support each other and give advice during tough times.

Social support may be formal or informal. Community wellness centers often offer support groups led by counselors or trained volunteers who have had similar experiences. They may offer seminars to provide information on various subjects and allow people to gather.

Or, people who attend wellness centers may meet other people in more informal ways. They could meet them during activities or simply by spending time at the centers.

Eating is often a communal activity, so centers may sponsor events such as barbecues to provide additional ways to socialize in more low-pressure environments. Similarly, centers may host cooking classes that encourage interaction. The classes may also offer information about nutrition and healthy food preparation, which could help people with mental illnesses and addictions regain and preserve their health and strength.

Meeting with others is beneficial to our physical and mental health. Numerous studies prove the importance of other people in addressing mental illnesses and addictions. Other people may help prevent mental illness or prevent it from recurring.

People with mental illnesses and addiction may be nervous to meet with others, but doing so may boost their confidence. This confidence may transfer to other areas of their lives and make it easier to meet with people in the future.

Instead of being trapped in vicious cycles of isolation, mental illnesses, and addiction, people who meet with others are creating a cycle of socialization and recovery.

Guest blogger: Nicole Allen is a freelance educator and writer based in Michigan and believes that her writing is an extension of her career as a tutor since they both encourage learning and discussing new things. When she isn’t writing, you might find Nicole running, hiking, or swimming. She’s participated in several 10K races and hopes to compete in a marathon one day.

MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY CENTERS (MHCC). IS A REGISTERED 501c3 WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE #04-3585931 AND WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS # CH38125 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS BY CALLING TOLL FREE 800-435-7352, WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING: WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”