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Forums / Staying well / Loneliness and Isolation... The silent killers.

Topic: Loneliness and Isolation... The silent killers.

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
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    13 September 2018
    On the local radio station a guest speaker raises a topic that hits me hard.

    He describes visiting people to provide mental health support. All ages. All walks of life. With a curious commonality. Nearly all have almost no contacts on their phone who they can call and talk to. Some have no contacts at all.


    Driving my kids to school an hour away I realise this is why I committed to driving. Moving. Because human beings cope better with a community. So we moved to find one.


    The idea isn't new. An urban sociologist called Ray Oldenburg wrote about the need for 'Third places'. The first place is home. The second work or study. The third place is informal social spaces. Places to be part of a community.

    We see the words loneliness and isolation and the term no support network day after day on the forums.

    So I wanted to ask you...


    Where do you go to connect with people?

    What do you do to form fulfilling connections?

    I hope we can give people realistic ideas. Affordable. Practical.


    I want to brainstorm ideas of where to start. What to try.


    Anyone have a third place they have found rewarding?


    ❤ Nat
    2 people found this helpful
  2. baet123
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    13 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hey Nat,

    I think as as a third place it comes without saying that these forums are a great "third place". Besides there forums, I think it very much varies on your interests, where you live and the like.

    For many males who are interested in sports, I think your local sporting club is a great third place that is definitely affordable and practical. Your local sports club is a great place to socialise, meet new people and bond over a common shared interest and grow your relationships with people whom you share things in common with. Another good third place for men is the local men's shed. This is a great affordable and practical way to socialise and talk about issues concerning men in a non-judgmental environment. Men's Well-being is also a great open ground gathering for men from all walk's of life. There are also great online social communities/groups on facebook and other social media platforms where you can share experiences and feed off each others energy and passion for interests which you all share.

    I know that there are heaps of affordable and practical support groups for women also. I know that Women's Cottage and platforms such as Meetup are great services that facilitate this movement. On these websites you will see groups that all women can be apart of and they are extremely affordable. Some examples of these groups include "Women Get Shit Done" (excuse the French :D), "Sydney Women Empowerment Meetup" and the like. These are amazing supportive groups and you can find these types of group in every major city as well as in rural areas.

    I am sorry for my limited knowledge on options available for women as I am a male and I don't want to type things that I don't really know too much about :).

    Lastly, phone your local council or communty centre and they will always have information about what is going on and what supportive groups are in your area. There are great, locally run programs that support your community and are extremely affordable, often free and is a great way to build networks and socialise with people in your local community.

    Hope this helps people.

    All the best!

    Nick.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Quercus
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    13 September 2018 in reply to baet123

    Hello Nick,

    How lovely to see your blue bus badge! Congratulations 😊.

    Your third places are awesome ideas.

    One thing the guest speaker on the radio said was that many of the most isolated people are men. So I think your suggestions are both important and valuable.

    When you mentioned contacting your council that made me think of local libraries and recreation centres. My library was a lifesaver. The noticeboards are packed full of events and activities. Many run free or low cost classes too.

    I like how you mention passions and interests. I totally agree that finding likeminded people makes it so much easier especially if you aren't comfortable. You always have a safe topic to begin conversations.

    What do others think? The more the merrier. New members or old feel free to join in.

    Nat

    1 person found this helpful
  4. baet123
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    13 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hey Nat,

    Thank you so much. It looks kinda neat :P

    Council's are generally fabulous for running programs that are free/low cost! Neighbourhood centres too!

    What are other peoples thoughts? I'd love to here more options!

    Nick

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Lismore
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    14 September 2018 in reply to Quercus
    I have just volunteered atthep shop, so l can start relating with people again,l do not drive,so Everything l do must be at least walking distance, l have got myself in a real mess, but also will be starting with a church group this weekend, hopefully that will get me out of this
    3 people found this helpful
  6. Quercus
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    14 September 2018 in reply to Lismore

    Hi Lismore and welcome to the forums 😊.

    Two awesome ideas, thank you for joining in.

    Volunteering works for me too. I like that not only are you getting to interact with people but you also have a sense of purpose and hope being part of something bigger.

    I really hope both the church group and volunteering help you find your feet again.

    Have you ever considered learning to drive? No judgement from me (I had to be forced to lessons). But I do find my car a good time out place. Long trips and good music especially. The freedom.

    If or when you choose to create an introduction thread for yourself I would love to be pointed it. Nick mentioned before these forums themselves are a good third place to meet others who 'get' it.

    Lovely to meet you.

    Nat

  7. Fallen apart
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    17 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    I take my dog to obedience school. We've done lvl3 twice already and I just try to help other people out a bit and soak up dog vibes.

    Sometimes its the only time I get to talk to a human all week

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Quercus
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    17 September 2018 in reply to Fallen apart

    Hi Fallen Apart and thanks for joining in 😊.

    Such an important and honest sentence...

    Sometimes its the only time I get to talk to a human all week

    That hit me in the heart and is exactly the point of this thread. The radio segment I mentioned called it the importance of incidental communication. Giving people we cross paths with in daily life our time and kindness. It costs little to have a chat and it may be the only connection someone has.

    I absolutely love your idea! Dog parks work too and pet stores with grooming salons... especially if there is a cafe to stop and chat. Animals seem to have a way of breaking down the barriers we have with eachother. It's an easy way to start a conversation.

    We always seem to end up at Bunnings on the weekend (the sausage sizzle is a magnet for my kids). Inevitably someone has a k9 and people are drawn in. What's his/her name? What breed? May the kids have a pat? Add food to the mix and it is a recipe for a rewarding interaction for both sides.

    Apart from obedience school are there any other animal centred activities that might give you a similar opportunity to connect Fallen Apart?

    ❤ Nat

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Fallen apart
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    17 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Agility was always on the cards but I haven't got there yet. My dog school is pretty relaxed but the agility one steps it up a notch and I'm not ready for that.

    He's a good wingman though, as you say its an automatic ice breaker when random people want to come up for a pat and chat which would otherwise leave me feeling a bit antsy. And he makes other people happy so at the very least i feel like my presence has value by proxy.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Guest5643
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    460 posts
    13 October 2019

    Hi nat

    This forum is my third place.

    Dog first, home second.

    Topic is spot on! Its a major trigger to flare up major depression. Ive even looked up in the past at renting a friend, Yes there is such thing. The longer your isolated the more paranoid you are when you go out. The more distrusting of others you are. The more awkward you become around people. The more terrified you are to go out. ect ect ect ect. The only people i connect with is who say hi while i walk my dog. As we know im never doing volunteer again. Im so scared of joining any group of anything again. Theres a local dog park i used to go to but after my dog was sent to emergency vet by a particular breed he has become aggressive if dogs are jumpy around him so we cant go there now. I havnt gone in a bus past my local shopping centre in nearly 3yrs cause i had a major anxiety attack on bus. I wish so bad jesse was still working as my service dog. And because he was with me 24/7 from a puppy he dosnt cope alone. He dosnt sleep unless im sitting down cause he gets so worried about me. He can be flat out exhausted but if im busy doing something he will half sleep while watching me. If i ever found people to hang out with who actualy wanted to genuinly hang out with me it would be absolutley imperative he was with me the whole time.

    Cheers lynne

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Quercus
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    14 October 2019 in reply to Guest5643

    Hi Lynne,

    It was great to read that the forums are a place for you that has helped you connect with others. I feel the same.

    You mentioned renting a friend and although my first thought was 'wow is that possible?' the more I thought about it I realised there are plenty of services out there that do this. My Nan has a lady who comes to help her around the home and they always have tea and a chat. Over time they have become good friends.

    I think you're onto a good idea here.

    As to fur babies... They are essential in my mind too. I'm glad you have a k9 companion.

    Nat

  12. Guest5643
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    460 posts
    15 October 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi nat

    Theres actualy a website called rent a friend. But you pay up to $60 an hr and a weekly membership fee. I have thought about putting an add on gumtree if theres local lonely people that want to meet in a local park ect but im concerned i might get dodgy creepy people with bad intentions. Meals on wheels type thing would be great but thats only for elderly. I shouldnt complain, some people dont even have any pets so realy i am very lucky. Id have more pets but well to put it very bluntly jesse would not let them live.

    cheers lynne

  13. Paw Prints
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    17 October 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat,

    Living rural I find the local General Store is a great place to cross paths with others. You can chat as much or as little as you want. My GS also has some tables & chairs & some of the locals meet up there for a natter & a cuppa. It also has a notice board with community events/social get togethers etc.

    Shopping at small retailers rather than the big supermarkets. Your local butcher/greengrocer/op shop etc, they remember you after a few visits & it's an easy way to meet people.

    Paws

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Quercus
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    21 October 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws 😊

    Love your suggestion! It's odd that now we live in a rural area I can relate to the idea of meeting people at local stores because like you mentioned once I became a regular people would stop and chat.

    Living in the city that didn't seem to happen even in shops I visited over years.

    1 person found this helpful

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