Connection: your place within your community, developing healthy friendships, and connecting on a spiritual level with the world around us.

We can be imprisoned in our minds. Isolated. Often with unhealthy thinking. We may hide behind masks and facades. Sometimes we feel the world is against us. It takes a lot of energy to keep up a front. It can also be lonely and alienating.

The Grow Program states: you alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone. Positive mental health comes as the result of a healthy connection with others.

Friendships, a sense of belonging, and giving us a connection with life, the world, and even the universe are foundational to mental health.

Friendship is a wonderful human experience. We can be comfortable and vulnerable with a good friend. Being truthful and having a good laugh can be transformative. We can take joy in supporting each other. It is healing to be understood by another. To love and to be loved. Friendship is a treasure.

It is good to be grounded in a community of people. Encouraging us beyond our small world into a larger one. A community could be work, educational or social. We can be with our tribe or mix with all walks of people. A community can give a sense of purpose and meaning in life. A common purpose that transcends the self. It is good for the health of our minds to be in touch with other minds.

But we might take that sense of connection even further – to a spiritual level. Many of us have a different understanding of a higher power, however, that higher power transcends our narrow world. It can give us a sense of awe and wonder as we look up into the vastness of the night sky. Our troubles might seem that bit smaller – just moments in time in the great eternity. Even with all the suffering in the world, many people grow to trust in a bigger picture, that somehow everything is working out. That all will be well and all manner of things will be well. Through our sense of universal connection, we may be moved by compassion to help another in a faraway land. Over time, people often come to live in a state of peace and love with the oneness of it all. We can find our home in this tiny corner of the universe. We move from a small sense of self to a boundless one.

We find ourselves on a journey, where we experience the wonders of life and grow as a person. Connections with friends, your community, and the larger world around you support and nurture that growth.