Other community-based organisations such as the church and ethnically specific community groups and services were seen as good ways to connect, but enthusiasm for these groups was tempered around getting to these spaces as well as conquering nerves of going to a new group of people for the first time. An update of the IOM book, Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders, this work focuses on the research base and program experience with young populations. Not speaking English also left late-life migrants in particularly precarious situations when anything happened to their existing social support network: When we first moved here, if there are Korean people we all became friends, then now, since we have been here long and since this [admission to hospital] happened to my husband [we] all disconnected. Interviews took place in 2016. Almost half of participants in individual interviews said that they had the most social contact with one of their adult children (N = 18), in seven cases their son. Strategic direction for the prevention of suicidal behavior: Promoting individual, family, and community connectedness to prevent suicidal behavior. Step 1: Describe the Problem and Its Context, Step 3: Identify Key Risk and Protective Factors, Safe and Effective Messaging and Reporting, Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR), National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, National Organizations and Federal Agencies, comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. In total, 44 participants took part in individual in-depth interviews and 32 older adults took part across three group discussions (Tables 1 and 2). By contrast, a few participants described themselves as always being ‘loners’, yet on closer inspection of their narratives this often seemed to be both complicated and to be temporary rather than a life-long persona. Her and I are both Māori and, you know. I was joking about it: it's testing my ability to walk. "metrics": true, This highlights the urgent need for more age-friendly city planning and age- and diversity-awareness of public transport staff (World Health Organization, 2007). Suicide prevention programs should promote programs and practices leading to positive and supportive relationships. And consequently [it has reduced] my interests in going out anywhere, reducing my ability [and] my willingness to do anything ’cos it was such a rigmarole. This grandmother's got a life!’ (Other participants erupt in laughter) (MF, MxG). Notably, friendships featured far less in Pacific participants’ narratives, which tended to be centred on the importance of close connection to their family with whom most lived. This prejudice is added to our group. Nonetheless, interventions for promoting social connectedness continue to be focused on individual-level related factors such as increasing one-to-one personal contact and promoting group activities and objective measures of social isolation (Cattan et al., Reference Cattan, White, Bond and Learmouth2005; O'Rourke and Sidani, Reference O'Rourke and Sidani2017). The small numbers of men willing to participate in the Māori, Pacific and Asian groups meant we are unable to provide an in-depth comparative gendered analysis. (EM, MxG). Further questions explored experiences of loneliness and barriers and facilitators to social connectedness. It took us a long time to walk a long way back. Our findings thus help to provide additional insight into the findings of Jamieson et al. Connectedness and support can be enhanced through social programs directed at specific groups (such as older adults or LGBT youth), as well as through activities that support the development of positive and supportive communities. We conducted both a thematic and narrative analysis of our participants’ talk in order to make comparisons across groups as well as examining how our participants constructed themselves and their circumstances to the interviewer and in relation to peers in the case of the group discussions (Wiles et al., Reference Wiles, Rosenberg and Kearns2005; Braun and Clarke, Reference Braun and Clarke2006). Programs and practices that promote social connectedness and support are one element of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Isolation/social contact and loneliness/so-cial connectedness are different concepts, the former objective and the latter subjective: one may be alone (i.e. After our children graduated from college, we agreed them to come to New Zealand. Is the driving skill so bad? In addition to the substantial similarities across participants, we also found important differences. }. Copyright © October 2020 by The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. Positive and supportive social relationships and community connections can help buffer the effects of risk factors in people’s lives. They investigate features and characteristics of Sydney Olympic Park that support and enhance people’s wellbeing such as environmental quality, access to services and facilities, social connectedness, cultural and heritage value, safety and aesthetics. For example, one participant who offered a detailed account of her wide social network described herself as a ‘person who loves people’ (OF01). Other participants emphasised their desire to spend time around people in coffee shops or malls, which appeared to be more about being seen as social beings than necessarily having conversations with others. Pacific participants were also far more likely to live with another family member (eight of ten compared to two of 13 European participants) and have a family member present at the interview (four of ten). The group interview guide was adapted from the interview guide to facilitate group discussion, exploring what participants perceive helped and hindered social connection but not including the personalised mapping of social connections. Social support and connection are key protective factors against suicide. How did connectedness become internalized? Many of our participants, either living with family members or council housing, felt they did not have space to host others which was a barrier to establishing or continuing connections: But any friends I have, want to have, I can't, because I have to share and tell my kids I have somebody coming. By contrast, Korean group discussion participants expressed feelings of alarm when it arose through conversation that only one of them knew that the former New Zealand Prime Minister had recently resigned. (AF01). Participants framed their feelings of social connectedness within wider contexts which either enabled or limited their physical ability to get to social situations and/or have the capacity to make meaningful connections. The former tended to overwhelmingly live with their families and feel connected to them (although they may feel cut off from having friends), while the latter chose not to live with family in order to not burden them (Park, Reference Park, Morgan, Wiles and Gott2019). This was sometimes as a result of a ‘push’ factor such as the death of a spouse, however, this connection was also enabled by the availability of community resources. Feature Flags: { Social connection has been associated with decreased rates of depression (Cruwys et al., Reference Cruwys, Dingle, Haslam, Haslam, Jetten and Morton2013), decreased risks of cognitive decline (Ertel, Reference Ertel, Glymour and Berkman2008) and mortality (Seeman et al., Reference Seeman, Kaplan, Knudsen, Cohen and Guralnik1987), and greater longevity (Umberson and Montez, Reference Umberson and Montez2010). Social connectedness is of such relevance to humans that it is believed to have been a central element of human evolution, as natural selection would favor individuals capable of making positive social contact; group affiliation would provide more care, food, and protection, and thus ensure survival of socially “skilled” individuals (Baumeister and Leary, 1995). "Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." Social connection is the experience of feeling close and connected to others. Each participant was interviewed once and interviews ranged from 16 to 93 minutes; most averaged one hour. The Korean group was held at the house of one of the participants. All participants provided written consent to participate, with the exception of one group discussion where verbal consent was recorded due to the size of the group (N = 22; this took place in response to the audience's enthusiasm following a presentation to an Age Concern coffee group by the researcher, where participants had the opportunity to opt in to participate following the close of the coffee morning, after a group discussion about informed consent. No intimate friends? This played out in the mixed ethnicity group discussion where an initially jovial interaction ended on a more sober note: Interviewer: Once you start losing your hearing or maybe your eyesight, does that lead to loneliness too? By that I can only see from one eye, and my children always say oh you're only one-eyed anyway, you know. The aims of our research were to establish: (1) What do older people see as protective factors that enable or foster their social connectedness? However, we went to significant lengths to ensure participants were familiar with interviewers before the interview. A further six participants struggled to name a specific person with whom they had regular contact; one participant said she only had regular contact with nurses and one participant said she had regular contact with no one. Interviewer: And how many are you close to here? Participants preferred to socialise with people from similar cultural backgrounds where they shared taken-for-granted social customs and knowledges. 7 Practices to Increase Social Connection and Resilience in the Workplace Published on June 3, 2015 June 3, 2015 • 18 Likes • 6 Comments Governments also need to adjust the pension to a liveable rate that ensures older people can afford to socialise, given the importance this on their health and wellbeing (New Zealand Treasury, 2018). At the level of individual connectedness, a very clear pathway is that in times of stress, the number and quality of social ties people have can directly influence their access to social support—regardless of whether that support is instrumental or emotional, actual or perceived. Future research could utilise non-representational theories of health that combine material, sensory and affective processes with conscious thought and agency in order to explore further how social connectedness is made, negotiated and narrated in everyday life (Andrews, Reference Andrews2018). Support the development of relationships between youth and positive adults in their lives (e.g., teachers, coaches). In line with Victor and Bowling (Reference Victor and Bowling2012), we see that support and/or treatment of people's chronic health problems would help to improve older people's opportunities for socially meaningful lives. She does her own thing, I do my own thing, but we do have a cup of tea. (AF01). Some participants expressed a desire to socialise outside the home because it was too much energy to host people at their own space: Interviewer: And do you meet your friends often? Alongside these similarities we also discuss important differences. "lang": "en" "isLogged": "0", Characteristics of individual interview participants, Table 2. An interview guide was developed for the individual interviews. This Director’s Corner features a guest post by Dr. Yeates Conwell on how to promote connectedness among older adults. Korean data were collected and translated by the same researcher, whereas Chinese data were collected and transcribed by two separate researchers. Strategies to Increase Connectedness: Elementary School Toolkit The purpose of this resource is to provide educators with strategies to increase connectedness and student sense of belonging to their school. Characteristics of group interview participants. (EF02). The authors declare no conflicts of interest. Having the capacity to communicate with others was essential to enabling participants’ sense of connection. This paper reflects a diverse group of Pacific, Māori, Asian and NZE older adults’ views on what enables and/or impedes social connectedness. Note: 1. However, it did increase the necessity for leveraging pre-existing social capital, which, as explained below, often led to feelings of burden. You know, I don't know how we meet them, you know. (EM09). Being able to speak to one's neighbours was seen as a way to get regular casual contact: Interviewer: What about your neighbours here? They found 2 of 12 risk factors statistically associated with social satisfaction: trauma-transiton (e.g., death of someone close, family conflict, major illness, crime victim) and depression-anxiety (e.g., feel alone, afraid, sad, life not worth living). Data were analysed using thematic and narrative analyses. The three themes identified were: getting out of the house, ability to connect and feelings of burden. Consequently, when planning policies at either national or local level to support social connectedness in older age, it is critical to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and/or making assumptions about what a particular cultural group would benefit from, which may exacerbate barriers to connectedness particularly for the most minoritised groups, and focus rather on giving older people options. People here cannot always think we are profit at other's expense. I know, it wasn't there before, now it's here. And besides, there is no single Korean person living around this neighbourhood. "hasAccess": "1", Of the 44 individual interviews, 40 participants chose to be interviewed at home, two in a café selected by the participant and two in the office of a community organisation. And then working with people and really getting to know people, instead of just sitting within four walls. Asian participants lamented the catch-22 that not being able to speak English made it even more difficult to figure out how to get lessons to learn English and their reliance on the pension made it difficult to pay for them. The society cannot have this kind of prejudice. We recruited half of our sample through support of managers at three Age Concern centres who helped us to identify and contact people who are enrolled in the Accredited Friendly Visitor service, a befriending service which consists of a weekly volunteer visit to an older person who has expressed a desire for more company. For example, some participants became more socially connected by joining and/or volunteering for organisations so as to give back to the community (Stephens et al., Reference Stephens, Breheny and Mansvelt2015), something especially important for Māori participants whose cultural values reflected relationships strengthened by the practice of maanakitanga (reciprocal caring) and for Pacific participants who privileged their spiritual communities. Adverse social connectedness can play a role in not just a person’s physical and mental health, but their mortality, too. We thank Louise Rees, Judith Davey and Robyn Dixon for their wider support of the project. Strategies target multiple levels of influence including attitudes and knowledge as well as the social and physical environments. Interview participants are identified by their ethnicity (E: NZE, M: Māori, P: Pacific, A: Asian, O: Other), then gender (M: male, F: female) and the number within their group. This, along with widespread concerns about broader structural factors such as the level of the pension and inability to afford accommodation acceptable for socialising, highlights how both micro- and macro-economic considerations inhibited participants’ ability to connect (Ibrahim et al., Reference Ibrahim, Abolfathi Momtaz and Hamid2013) and at worst exclude people from having a public life altogether (Weldrick and Grenier, Reference Weldrick and Grenier2018). In situations of poor health, we found that proximal environments, especially relationships with neighbours, became increasingly important for opportunities for daily experiences of connection (Yen et al., Reference Yen, Shim, Martinez and Baker2012; Michael and Yen, Reference Michael and Yen2014). The group discussions were held in community venues operated by Age Concern and the Chinese Positive Ageing Trust. The whole team together read transcripts to identify both latent and descriptive themes (Braun and Clarke, Reference Braun and Clarke2006), looking for both similarities and differences across the transcripts as well as the coherence and context within each transcript (Maxwell and Chmiel, Reference Maxwell, Chmiel and Flick2014) and using NVivo 11 to support data analysis. Navy life can be tough on romantic relationships. Implement activities in educational institutions that help students increase and strengthen their social networks and connections. Some participants felt they could not rely on bus drivers to help them get on and off the bus, which meant they often stayed home rather than risk embarrassment. Positive and supportive social relationships and community connections can help buffer the effects of risk factors in people’s lives. Working with a diverse group of Pacific, Māori, Asian and New Zealand European older adults, this paper explores what matters to older people when discussing social connectedness? In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adopted promoting connectedness as its strategic direction for preventing suicidal behavior.1 The CDC defines connectedness as “the degree to which a person or group is socially close, interrelated, or shares resources with other persons or groups.”1. All Rights Reserved. If there are close friends, I can go out with them and have a cup of tea, do shopping, and chat (laughter), how happy that would be. While this might be explained in the context of ‘coming to terms’ with one's new situation (Victor and Bowling, Reference Victor and Bowling2012), we also found that it was an outcome of some participants expanding their social connections in the community (Kohli et al., Reference Kohli, Hank and Künemund2009). ; May 7, 2020 - Notice of Additional Due Date and Additional “Areas of Focus Especially of Interest” of PAR-19-373 and PAR-19-384. Scholars have also argued for the greater emphasis on the structural context in which older people attempt to make connections. Students discuss factors that influence people’s perceptions of the liveability of places. And it gives people something to get out of bed and, you know, aim for. Cup of tea good and all lying bad like in your mind you! Courses widely available and free would help improve this argued for the greater emphasis on the structural context which... 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