A new report from Buckinghamshire’s Director of Public health highlights the impact that the local community has on health and wellbeing.
There are some key themes to the ways in which the local community plays an important role in health and wellbeing:
- Social networks – knowing people locally prevents loneliness and isolation, and is good for physical health and mental wellbeing. Centres for social activity include community centres, local shops and places of worship
- Support – local groups can often support individuals with health problems and economic difficulties, and act as a knowledge bank for where people can go for further advice or help. There’s often good mutual support locally for young families.
- Opportunities – local communities offer a huge range of opportunities for personal development and increased wellbeing, whether it’s physically by promoting and enhancing opportunities to be active close to home, mentally through informal education, or creatively through music, art and craft activities. There are also many ways of volunteering and giving something back to the community by helping others.
Director of Public Health Jane O’Grady said:
Our communities can do much to identify and take action on local issues. Involvement in the community develops the social connections that are so important for a person’s health and wellbeing, and to aid their recovery if they become ill. It also makes people more resilient and better able to cope with stressful and difficult circumstances. In short, healthy communities make for better quality of life.
The new report recognises the need to work with communities across Buckinghamshire to promote health and wellbeing in each distinct local environment.
The Director of Public Health’s report for Buckinghamshire is available at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/dphannualreport. The report gives an overview of health and wellbeing in the county and identifies key areas for concerted action.