A quick hello can go a long way. It can create a small connection to a neighbour and start a feeling of belonging in our communities.
Edmontonians are less likely to experience stress, depression, loneliness and isolation if they feel connected to a supportive community.
Isolation has a destructive impact on our quality of life and our health: lacking meaningful social connections is as comparable a risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Increasing meaningful in-person interactions and connections affects the overall well-being of our neighbourhoods and our own mental health.
Don’t get us wrong, saying hello to everyone isn’t going to fix everything. We are talking about quality of connections over quantity. However, you never know when that one smile or hello from a neighbour might be just what someone needed.
Connection is a preventative measure to suicide. After the Suicide Prevention Strategy was passed in City Council on September 20, 2016 and the High Level Bridge barriers installed in July 2016, we are beginning to talk more about mental health and suicide. Removing the stigma one step at a time.
The City of Edmonton’s Urban Isolation and Mental Health initiative is starting a campaign to engage residents to help positively impact mental health and well-being. In this short video, we conducted an experiment to see how many Edmontonians responded with a hello when we offered a wave or “hi!” Not one resident refused us a hello. Good job, Edmonton!
Don’t be scared! Let’s contribute to a healthier, friendlier Edmonton. It’s as easy as saying, “Hello, how are you?”