The Oxford County Wellness Collaborative (OCWC) and our community partners have identified that isolation, disconnection, and not feeling valued is a root cause of poor health outcomes among community members across Oxford County. This has been a driving force in the work that OCWC and partners do day in and day out. We all want to be a part of something, whether it's a faith group, sports team, or advocacy group; the feeling of belonging is a basic human need that relates to our positive mental health. Oxford County is such a wide-spread, rural county that transportation and lack of mobility often leave people isolated from the places they'd like to go.
As we move through the last cold, snowy winter days we can often feel isolated from our communities due to the weather. This holds especially true for older adults and members of our communities with mobility challenges, for whom getting out can be a dangerous endeavor because of ice or unmaintained walkways. It's important through these final, colder winter months to check on your neighbors and make sure they have the things they need to stay safe. These simple acts can provide people with a sense of connectedness and reduce the feeling of loneliness.
And who knows, you may start a long-lasting friendship!
There are things we can all do to help each other feel valued, maintain a sense of connectedness, and improve the overall health of our community!