A new survey by Mental Health
"Individuals who feel valued and cared for are better equipped to deal with stress and adversity and even experience less severe illnesses than those with little social support, said David Shern, PhD, President and CEO of Mental Health
Of those surveyed, over one-third (40%) are concerned about their current stress levels and about one-third (34%) characterize themselves as "routinely overwhelmed by stress. This is especially true for African Americans (45%) and women (39%). Despite high stress levels, the vast majority (97%) of respondents have people in their lives they trust and can turn to when in need of support. Over one-third (43%) have as many as five people; over half (53%) have more than five; and only three percent of respondents report having none. Those with relationships turn most often to family members and significant others for emotional support during stressful times. Men (40%) are more likely to turn to significant others, while women (55%) are more likely to turn to family members.
The survey asked participants to respond to specific statements about their relationships. The majority:
· Have close relationships that help them cope with stress (91%)
· Feel a strong emotional tie with at least one other person (93%)
· Have someone to talk to about decisions in their life (95%)
· Say there are several people they can talk to when they feel lonely (93%)
· Say there are people they know will help them if they really need it (96%)
· Have people who appreciate them for who they are (96%)
Health Benefits of Relationships
The survey also asked participants to respond to statements about the effects of their relationships and found that most are aware of the benefits social relationships may have on mental and overall health. Nearly all respondents believe that having close relationships helps people relieve stress (94%) and helps protect them from developing depression and other mental health conditions (93%). Slightly less (86%) believe that not having close relationships can put them at risk for illness.
2008 May is Mental Health Month
This May, Mental Health
2008 May is Mental Health materials are made possible through an educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. "Social Connectedness and Health was conducted by International Communications Research, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted via telephone from April 2-7 among a nationally representative sample of 1,016 respondents 18 years of age or older. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.07%. To access the executive summary, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/surveys.