This fact sheet addresses social wellness and is part of PRA Well-Being’s eight-part Tips for Providers series. The Tips for Providers series highlights how providers can enhance the wellness of individuals with mental health conditions through each of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Each fact sheet examines strategies to enhance that dimension of wellness, provides an overview of how each dimension of wellness relates to the other dimensions, and highlights how each dimension of wellness relates to mental health.

Social wellness is a crucial component to both beginning and sustaining a successful recovery from a behavioral health condition. This fact sheet highlights how social wellness can be maintained through healthy relationships with friends, family, and the surrounding community.

Supportive, intimate relationships that foster the health and well-being of all those involved form the foundation of social wellness. These relationships can be between family, friends, romantic partners, community groups, individuals, peer supporters, and spiritual connections. Healthy social connections enhance overall wellness by promoting feelings of trust, belonging, and acceptance and may have a direct positive impact on a wide range of other dimensions of wellness. Positive behaviors and habits practiced by members of a social group may lead other members to adopt these practices as well, creating a virtuous cycle of mutual reinforcement. But just as positive relationships can affect one’s health, negative relationships can also be detrimental to wellness. People in our social circles that have negative thought patterns or treat others poorly can have a negative influence on the thought patterns and wellness of their peers. It is important to foster healthy relationships with people who support our wellness goals and act with compassion for others.

The impacts of social wellness are profound and wide-reaching. Humans are social beings, and isolation increases the risk of poor health. Beyond fostering communication skills and combatting the difficult experience of loneliness, socializing also increases an individual’s level of access to resources and support, either from peers or professionals. Such social supports and social capital are essential to recovery and overall well-being, making this element of wellness one of great importance to everyone.

View the other fact sheets in this series:

This resource was first shared in 2019.