Socialising is associated with better mental and emotional health for anyone since social connections and relationships can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging. It’s significant for people with spinal cord injuries who may face challenges in their daily lives.

Going out and socialising

Benefits of socialising

  1. Socialising helps us reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  2. It promotes physical activity via group sports, BBQ parties and more, positively affecting physical and mental health.
  3. Socialising also stimulates the brain and enhances cognitive functioning, which can benefit people with SCI who may be at risk of cognitive decline due to inactivity or other factors.
  4. And more.

Socialising is a valuable way to connect with others, engage in meaningful activities, and maintain physical and mental health and well-being.

Challenges of socialising

However, people with spinal cord injuries face many challenges in socialising for some reasons. For example:

  1. We may have physical limitations that make it challenging to participate in certain activities.
  2. Limited mobility may stop us from going to some places where we can socialise with others.
  3. Some people with SCI may experience fatigue as their injury, which negatively affects their social activities.
  4. Some of us may experience depression and anxiety, which is another challenge for us to interact with others and maintain social connections.

Going out and socialising

Solutions to improve socialisation

Fortunately, there are more solutions than there are challenges. We have listed several methods that may help you participate in socialising activities.

  1. Use assistive technology. Many assistive technologies can help us participate in social activities and communicate with others.
  2. Join a support group. Joining a support group can help us comfortably connect with others facing similar challenges. Meanwhile, the group can also provide a sense of community, offer support, encouragement and more opportunities for socialisation. We have an excellent Peer Support team that can support with lived experience of spinal cord injury.
  3. Attend social events. It can provide more opportunities to socialise with others on different occasions, such as parties, concerts, and community gatherings.
  4. Use online platforms. We can build connections using social media like Facebook, Twitter and more. Moreover, we operate an online program: EmployAbility. Our team will provide you with support, training and opportunities on the journey to work if you want to return to the workplace.

Undoubtedly, the above is not all methods that can help us improve socialisation. So, we built a factsheet with more practical tips for a stress-free, enjoyable outing.

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Funded by Australian Government Department of Social Services. For more information visit DSS.GOV.AU