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Activities with other people to improve mental health

Social contact and being active in your community can improve your mental health.

Try to:

  • meet more people
  • build a network of friends
  • get involved in activities

It can take courage to meet new people, but it can make a big difference in how you feel.

Get started

Think about the hobbies you enjoy or the things you have always wanted to try. Doing something you enjoy will help you feel well. Learning something new can be good for your confidence.

Find activities

There are many sources of information you can use to find out what is happening in your area, such as:

You could:

  • search for community and local news websites
  • join a group, club or get involved with a community activity
  • go back to education or learn something new by signing up for a course
  • take part in a local cause or political group

If there is nothing happening in your area, you could start something.

Free activities

Getting involved does not have to cost money.

There are many free activities you can do, including:

  • join or organise walking groups
  • encourage friends to join you for a quick game of football
  • get together with neighbours for a local clean up

Physical activity and your mental health

Helping others

By supporting and helping others, you are more likely to feel good about yourself.

There are lots of ways to help others, including:

  • volunteering
  • visiting an elderly neighbour who lives alone
  • helping a friend with work in their garden or house

The Volunteer Ireland website has information on volunteering opportunities available throughout the country.

Keep it going

It's important to try to spend time with others. Seek out company not only when you need it but as part of your daily life.

Try to make a regular arrangement to meet friends or family. It will be something to look forward to and will enrich your life over time.

HSE-funded support

HSE's social prescribing programme can help you access a range of activities in the community, such as art, cookery or meditation.

The Irish Men’s Sheds Association offers community activities for men, including gardening, joinery or woodwork.

Page last reviewed: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025