Loneliness is a growing epidemic. It has been connected to suicide, depression and other mental health disorders as well as physical health challenges. It affects motivation to persevere in the face of obstacles. In fact, a report by the Government of Canada cites research indicating that social isolation - as a risk factor for premature death - exceeds obesity and physical inactivity.
Everyone is vulnerable to loneliness, but especially people with complex needs - the very people who we support.
So what's the antidote?
Belonging means to be socially connected, and it is as great a need as the need for food and shelter. It buffers against stress, influences happiness and contributes to a meaningful life. People who experience belonging participate in their community, have better health, and care for others.
However, belonging isn't just about individuals. Belonging is a two-way street: it's about communities sending signals of acceptance and inclusion, and about individuals cultivating their own connections to community.
Since 1972, Fraserside has been at the centre of this two-way street, supporting both individuals and the communities in which they live to experience and create experiences of belonging. Find out more about what we do by reading our strategic plan or stories about our impact.