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Social Groups Improve Mental Health

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Belonging to one or more social groups not only improves mental health, but now research has shown that it improves physical health at least as well as diet and exercise

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Social Groups Improve Mental Health

  1. 1. Social groups Improve Mental health
  2. 2. Doctors may begin handing out prescriptions to the local book club rather than Prozac after a number of studies found a definite link between social groups and mental health.
  3. 3. A group of researchers from the Universities of Exeter, Queensland and Kansas have complied evidence showing that people who join social groups, from book clubs to voluntary societies such as the Key Club, Rotary Club, even amateur sports teams, have an increase in self-esteem, feelings of well-being, and even recall ability.
  4. 4. Groups like AA and Weight Watchers all rely on the individual’s sense of connectedness as part of their success.
  5. 5. Alcoholics have found that connecting with other recovering alcoholics, rather than professional therapists, enables them to reach for the telephone instead of the tequila.
  6. 6. Weight Watchers may well be the world’s largest support group
  7. 7. An article in the October 1993 issue of the Journal of American Dietetic Association states, “Social support, the resources provided by other people, has been demonstrated to correlate directly with weight loss maintenance.”
  8. 8. Churches, synagogues and other places of religion offer membership to any who wish to join.
  9. 9. Becoming connected to other people through common ideas and beliefs fosters a sense of value, reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness, and can prevent boredom.
  10. 10. Belonging to one or more social groups not only improves mental health, but now research has shown that it improves physical health at least as well as diet and exercise.
  11. 11. Bernadette Boden-Albala, professor of sociomedical sciences and neurology at Columbia University, and her colleagues conducted a study of 655 stroke patients in 2005.
  12. 12. The study showed that patients who had meaningful social interactions had half the risk of having another stroke within five years as were those little or no social connections.
  13. 13. Social isolation appeared to be associated with a greater risk of an additional stroke than factors such as coronary artery disease or lack of exercise.
  14. 14. A 2003 study by Carnegie Mellon University psychologist Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues showed that socially isolated people were twice as likely to catch a cold as their social neighbors, even though they were subjected to fewer germs.
  15. 15. New research is delving further into the connection between physical and mental health
  16. 16. Evidence now proves that the health risk of social isolation is similar to the risks of cigarette smoking, hypertension and obesity.
  17. 17. Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Sponsored By Helping Psychology is sponsored by Argosy University.