Scientists from Jagiellonian University and Leon Koźmiński Academy have found that having close, daily personal contacts in both work and family life can reduce the risk of depression by 27%, while loneliness increases the risk by over 30%. This research is based on medical documentation of employed individuals and highlights the importance of social connections for mental health.
The study surveyed people’s responses to statements such as “people around me trust me,” “people around me trust and respect each other,” and “I feel a sense of connection to the community around me.” People who responded positively to these statements had a lower risk of a clinical diagnosis of depression, suggesting that strong, trusting relationships with others can protect against depression and anxious states.
One of the researchers involved in the study, Dr. hab. Piotr Białowolski from ALK, emphasized that loneliness should be viewed as a risk factor for mental health issues. He also noted that while social connections are important for mental health, they are often discouraged in the workplace, as employers may fear a decrease in productivity.
The results of this study indicate that it is essential to prioritize and cultivate social connections, both in personal and professional settings. Building positive relationships with others can have a major impact on mental health, and may even help to prevent the development of depression and anxiety. It’s important for employers to understand the importance of social connections and create opportunities for employees to form those connections at work.