The National Council on Mental Well-Being states that friendship is something people never outgrow, and regardless of your age or what’s going on, close, healthy friendships promote positive mental health and well-being. Other mental health organizations also support this belief, and studies have shown that “those who enjoy close friendships during adolescence have a lower rate of depression or anxiety later in life.”
Six benefits of friendship, according to Healthline, are:
- Less loneliness and social isolation
- Reduced stress
- Emotional support
- Personal development
- A sense of belonging
- Support through challenges
Mental health first aid
Connecting with friends can be an opportunity to support a friend who is going through a difficult time. For those who aren’t sure how to help or need guidance on how best to support a friend in need, the Mental Health First Aid courses are a great resource for more information.
Purdue Extension offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to the campus community and throughout Indiana. Mental Health First Aid courses provide introductory education on various mental health issues. Mental Health First Aid courses provide participants with tools to help someone in distress seek professional help, as well as tools for self-care. These courses also raise awareness and challenge the stigma associated with seeking help and align with the behavioral health pillar of the Caldeira Saudável Program.