Mental Health and Community

Whatever you define family as, family is just a part of belonging to something that takes care of you and nurtures you… and when you have lost that, and you want to get that back, it’s pretty easy to get emotional about it. Ellen DeGeneres

I was thinking about where I live, daydreaming thinking about if I could move anywhere where would I move. Over the years I have lived in many different cities and towns. I look at those places and I have noticed one thing, I didn’t feel like I belonged, there was no sense of community. I never really learned the names of my neighbors and wouldn’t recognize them even when I may cross paths. The city that I found was the worst was Toronto, Ontario. You just kept to yourself, never looking directly into someone’s eyes.

I mentioned once that I live in a mobile trailer. This trailer park is not anything like what was portrayed in the show “Trailer Park Boys”. The owners screen new people that are moving in. They like having seniors and people who are not going to play very loud music. You will not find old cars, mattresses and old fridges in the yards. What you will find is people who like to visit when outside and you will know many of them by their names. I know all of my neighbors, within a block or so, their names. They in return know mine and of course, Natalie.

There are great benefits living here. I have a sense of security, a warm sense of belonging somewhere, and even a sense of family. There are not many places that I could name where I could find those benefits. This didn’t start at the beginning for it needed time, time to nurture, and stepping out of my little bubble. It will soon be twenty four years since I moved into this home where I live. The old adage, “Home is where the heart is”, has become real, deep seated within me.

I believe that if I was in need of some help that I could ask any of my neighbors and they would help if it was in their ability to do so. My best friend’s car is fine for around town, but out on the highway he is not sure it would hold together. When I needed to go to Regina, Saskatchewan, for those cortisone shots in my back, I asked my next door neighbor if he could take me. I don’t even think he hesitated and he gladly took me. On the way there and back we had a great time chatting about all manner of things. It was the same neighbor, after I purchased the laminate flooring, he offered to put it down for me.

It is those things and much more that has been so beneficial for my mental health I can go to bed without worrying if my home will be broken into. It has been that sense of belonging, a sense of community, that anchors me to stay here. Yes, I have those moments where I feel I would like to move. I weigh the pros and cons, but truth be told I could not find any place better than here. The rent prices are going through the roof in this town, I probably would end up living beside someone who wants to party all night, and even worse a couple who would fight constantly.

So dear reader, what gives you a sense of belonging, that sense of community? I would like to hear some of your thoughts!

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  1. ashleyleia

    The last time I really had a sense of community (other than virtually) was when I lived in student residence at university. Where I live now, I know a few of my neighbours and recognize several more, but connecting with the neighbours was never really something I was interested in. It’s a good building, though; it’s quiet and I never worry about security.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rts – Facing the Challenges of Mental Health

      Ashley, security is a key into feeling at home. I am glad you have that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Renee🌻

    Community is when neighbors help one another out. If a cow happens to show up in our yard, we pretty much know who it belongs to and shoot that person a text and help get them home. That’s just one example. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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