“No man is an island.” English poet John Donne penned those words in 1624 to express the idea that people need to be around other people to be healthy.

Prevention in Action focuses on networks this month.

Support networks—the team of people we lean on for support, encouragement, and mentoring—play a vital role in helping us to maintain our mental health and well-being.

We should include people who can offer us different perspectives.

MensLine Australia, a mental health support resource, offers tips for building a strong support network:

  • Family: Reach out to relatives who bring out the best in you, not the ones who push your buttons.
  • Friends: Forge a small group of friends you can count on and a wider circle of acquaintances.
  • Co-workers: Learn to get along with everyone, but build closer ties with those you have more in common with and those you can learn from.
  • Neighbors and community members: Join local clubs, groups, or sports teams to meet people you might not otherwise. Family members can meet other Marine Corps families through L.I.N.K.S., offered by Marine Corps Family Team Building.
  • Web communities: Search for groups that share an interest or can help you improve your life in some way, such as the Marine for Life Network, a program designed specifically for Marines to help prepare them for their transitions back to civilian life.

This article is part of a year-long effort to build skills, increase resiliency, and show what right looks like.  To view other prevention tools and tips, read the Prevention in Action monthly newsletter.