Importance of Community
Updated: Jan 22
As men age, they may face a number of challenges, including physical and mental health issues, financial difficulties, and social isolation. However, research has shown that being part of a community, including an online or virtual community, can help mitigate these challenges and improve overall well-being. Being part of a community can also provide men with a sense of purpose and meaning. Men (huMANS) no matter our age, require a sense of belongingness, accomplishment, and to feel needed and valued in order to survive. It’s built into our DNA.
Unfortunately, as men age, we are at an increased risk for loneliness and isolation. According to a study by the AARP, 35% of men aged 45 and older reported feeling lonely, compared to 28% of women in the same age group. Loneliness and isolation have been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, including depression, heart disease, and cognitive decline. A review of multiple studies found that social support, including involvement in virtual community, had lower rates of depression and was associated with a lower risk of mortality in older adults.
Let's do our best to reach out to those who may be feeling lonely or isolated and help them connect. Let's encourage one another to remain engaged and stay involved on this journey of creating our higher selves because going it alone is, well...inhuMAN 🤍
"The Impact of Virtual Social Connections on the Mental Health and Well-being of Older Men: A Systematic Review" by C.M. Lu, et al. (2019) - This study conducted a systematic review of literature on the impact of virtual social connections on the mental health and well-being of older men, and found that virtual social connections can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and improve overall well-being in older men. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0214142
"The Effectiveness of Online Support Groups for Men with Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review" by R.J.H. Smith, et al. (2018) - This study conducted a systematic review of literature on the effectiveness of online support groups for men with prostate cancer and found that online support groups can provide men with a sense of community and male bonding, as well as emotional support and practical information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5944908/
"Social Support and Mental Health Outcomes in Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Meta-Analysis of Online Interventions" by J.J.J. Chen, et al. (2018) - This study conducted a meta-analysis of literature on the effects of online social support interventions on mental health outcomes in men who have sex with men and found that these interventions can improve mental health outcomes such as reducing depression and anxiety, and increasing self-esteem. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5878612/