KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – In a previous article about social isolation I touched on why people live in poverty and how they would feel more socially isolated if it wasn’t for soup kitchens and drop-ins. Also, I touched on alcohol and why people should not be drinking it.
However social isolation is such a huge and complex topic that I could not cover everything in that one article.
What needs to be understood is the fact that social isolation is not healthy and is a cause of depression. So the question is “what can be done to help people deal with it, and cure it?”
Answer – Come up with a business model/proposal to develop programs and a 24/7 support centre for people who feel this way.
There are pretty strong concerns around reasons why social support programs and a 24/7 support centre is needed for not only people who are already living socially isolated, but also to benefit people who feel they are on their way to living socially isolated.
People who are not yet there but feel they are on their way often have things happening in their lives that are making them feel that way. They develop the desire to avoid the discomfort, dangers, and responsibilities arising from being among people.
Due to what is happening in their lives, whether it is because they live in poverty, because they develop mental health disabilities, or because they lose their job, they feel society is treating them unpleasantly and judges them.
Staying home for lengthy periods of time is what people who are socially isolated tend to do. This is not healthy for them. Socially isolating yourself is not good for your self esteem either.
This is a reason as to why as another part of my dream job in life I would like to create a way to address this.
As I had mentioned in past articles, the drop-ins and soup kitchens I talk about are not open evenings and weekends. However these places are helpful for people during the week when these places are open.
So what else can we do?
Creating drop-in programs available 24/7 is ideal. After all people can feel depressed from being socially isolated whether it is in the middle of the night or during the daytime.
Better access to social situations is important. Often people who are socially isolated are not contacted by any acquaintances, or friends. Often their family members do not care about them. When it comes to family, their close family is no longer around.
So anyway, what I am proposing is a safe place located somewhere in Halifax/Dartmouth area, open 24/7 where people who feel socially isolated can so and get treatment, social support and therapy for the feelings they are experiencing.
When thinking about the cure, we have to look at what causes social isolation and how can the treatment I had just mentioned help.
The place I am proposing is not another hospital and will not replace the work of the doctors, nurses, and other professionals in a hospital. The centre will be strictly staffed by peer support workers and other non professionals who have personal knowledge of the various situations.
Peer support is a non-professional form of therapy. I talked a little about the peer support that already exists in my past article titled “Hey Ho Ho Mental Health Stigma has got to go.”
However, when looking at the peer support groups that are currently available in Halifax/Dartmouth, there appears to be no peer support group for people who are socially isolated.
There are several bottom lines when it comes to social isolation that needs to be considered when it comes to developing the centre. Health risks are caused by social isolation. People who are socially isolated also experience loneliness, and that is not healthy for them.
For this reason the 24/7 centre which I am proposing would need to be more than just a drop-in place for them. It would need to be a place that offers interventions to deal with social isolation. Also at this drop-in social inclusion programs would need to be offered.
The whole purpose of the 24/7 centre ais to be a place where people could hang out and feel socially included. After all, better access to social inclusion is a help along the way of curing social isolation.
Within this centre there would be:
- Social activities
- Peer and social support groups
- Free tea, coffee, and snacks offered
- Beds for people who have problems sleeping at home at night or homeless people would be available.
- Also would be investigating other ideas of what could be offered as the centre grows and takes off.
Anyway, in conclusion, this article not only addresses social isolation further. It also talks about another part of what I would like to achieve through my project which I talked about in my past Halifax Media Co-op article titled Join Team Kendall Worth.
Social isolation is a big part of what people living in poverty experience. I believe that if we can find ways to make people feel included in society then we can achieve great accomplishments.
Kendall also put together a formal business plan for his proposal.
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