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Overcoming Loneliness: Mental Health Resources in Victoria BC

March 26, 2024

Mental Health Resources in Victoria BC

It’s a sad reality that despite today’s world being more connected than ever before, loneliness continues to be an issue for many individuals from all walks of life. One demographic that is particularly vulnerable, however, is the senior population.

In Victoria, BC, as with many communities across the country, dealing with loneliness requires a multifaceted approach and is crucial for promoting overall well-being and quality of life.

Understanding Loneliness

Loneliness doesn’t simply refer to being alone. Some people can feel lonely in a crowd, while others can be alone and never feel lonely. Generally speaking, however, loneliness is a complex emotional state that can be characterized by a lack of social interaction and meaningful connection. It can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and several other psychological disorders.

A number of studies over the past few years have indicated that a significant portion of the BC population feels lonely at least occasionally and a small survey by the app NextDoor indicated that more than 50% of BC residents who responded felt some degree of loneliness.

Seniors are more vulnerable to feelings of loneliness due to a variety of factors, including retirement, loss of loved ones, changes to their physical health, and limited mobility. These factors often lead to less social interaction which in turn leads to loneliness

Given the detrimental effects of loneliness and the alarming number of those who suffer from it, it becomes clear that addressing it is a vital concern requiring tailored interventions and support.

Identifying Signs of Loneliness

Recognizing the signs of loneliness is crucial for early intervention. Some of the more obvious signs might be feelings of isolation, persistent sadness, and low self-esteem. Other symptoms may not be recognized as indicators of loneliness and may include changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, and an overall sense of lethargy. Being aware of these signs and other changes in behaviour can be useful in recognizing loneliness, allowing for treatment and intervention before the situation worsens.

Mental Health Resources in Victoria BC

Mental health resources in Victoria are available for those struggling with loneliness and other issues. Counselling, peer groups, helplines and more are available for anyone seeking assistance. Those in need may wish to consult the Victoria Mental Health Centre or the province’s list of virtual mental health supports.

Strategies to Overcome Loneliness

An essential part of fighting loneliness is engaging with community. This can include simple activities such as joining social clubs, various groups that share common interests, attending community events, or acting as a volunteer, all of which can help in creating new, meaningful connections. Other important steps can include reaching out for professional help when needed, seeking out support groups, and participating in therapy sessions.

Carlton House: Your Partner in Fostering Meaningful Connections

At Carlton House, we understand that a happy, healthy, fulfilling life involves more than just physical health. It’s important to tend to your emotional and social needs as well. This is why we offer a range of activities and provide daily opportunities to connect with others to develop meaningful friendships. Whether it’s card games, art classes, trips to the theatre, or one of our monthly theme-dinner celebrations, there are many opportunities to “click” with like-minded people.

Our experienced Wellness Manager, Debby Macmurchie, designs an ever-evolving monthly program that focuses on whole-person wellness. Debby ensures that residents have access to a wide range of activities that address our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and vocational needs, and our need to connect with others socially.

While being alone can certainly provide that much-needed quiet time to engage in the things that we love, being lonely can be extremely harmful, and should be prevented as much as possible.

That’s why at Carlton House, overcoming and preventing loneliness is a top priority. We help individuals do this by providing many natural opportunities to connect with others. We provide a community living experience that supports connection and socialization, while offering different suites and living options to choose from. What’s more, is that we are uniquely situated in, and a part of, the vibrant Oak Bay neighbourhood which provides even more community connection and opportunity to our residents.

To learn more about how Carlton House can support you in your whole-person wellness and to book a tour, reach out and connect with our community today. We’re here for you!

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