Mental Health Awareness Month: The Power of Meaningful Human Connection

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May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and as we look forward to lifting up ways to advance mental health throughout May, we want to highlight a common theme: human connection.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently stated that loneliness — or a lack of human connection — is a “common and profound public health challenge.” Loneliness can affect any and all of us. In fact, more than half of adults reported having one or less close confidants, according to a 2018 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. It’s an unfortunate consequence of modern society that new technology and social habits, less trust in shared institutions, and patterns of mobility tied to the economy have led to an increase in loneliness.

Meaningful human connection is a vital condition of wellness. While loneliness can contribute to health outcomes, such as obesity, smoking, depression and even suicide, strong human connections have a protective effect and increase mental, emotional and physical health, with one study linking strong social ties to a 50% longer lifespan.

Starting next month, we will be lifting up the healing power of human connection on the mental health of our society, with examples of our work and a focus on the well-being of youth and the health care workforce.

For example,  Providence and the Seattle Sounders FC recently partnered to drive meaningful impact in the area of youth mental health and wellness.  Working with the Renton School District, Providence and the Seattle Sounders FC will help create safe spaces for children to play and provide camps that incorporate mental well-being curriculum. In addition, the partnership will help foster a culture within local area schools to help every child prioritize their mental well-being and be equipped to support their peers. The Providence and Seattle Sounders FC partnership is powered by Providence’s Work2BeWell, a mental health and wellness program focused on providing mental health resources and education for youth, parents, and educators. 

Within our workplaces, we have developed tools and resources that can be used in hospitals and health care organizations nationwide. During the pandemic, when our caregivers were challenged and stretched in unimaginable ways, we launched No One Cares Alone (NOCA), a series of programs that provide mental health tools, resources and support for health care professionals. The No One Cares Alone Playbook outlines a menu of Caregiver Mental Wellness programs developed by Providence and is available to health care organizations to model and implement.

As we enter into Mental Health Awareness Month, we look forward to diving deeper into our focus areas and the importance of human connection on the mental health and well-being of all.

Youth and Teen Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

The number of teens who had “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” nearly doubled from 2009 to 44% in 2021 — the highest percentage of teens ever recorded, according to a 2022 CDC study

These statistics can sound harrowing — and they are — but rather than letting them discourage us, they should motivate us to find solutions for the growing youth mental health crisis in our country. The lives and well-being of our youth, and the future of our county, depend on it.

At Providence’s Well Being Trust, we are actively working to support the mental and emotional well-being of our youth. Learn more about youth-driven initiatives and view and download these resources.


Work2BeWell is a national mental health and wellness program focused on providing mental health resources and education for teens, parents, and educators. The goal is to promote teen wellness across the country, and work to normalize the conversation about mental health and reduce the stigma that surrounds it. View and download Mental Wellness Resources:

  • Self Care – Learn about the eight types of self-care and why it’s important to proactively care for your own mental health.
  • Weekly Wellness Activities – Have your pick of 40 weekly activities and health tips to promote wellness throughout the year.
  • Emotional First Aid Toolkit – create an emotional first aid kit to prepare them for what comforts and soothes them during challenging times.

View these resources and more at

Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

The mental health and well-being of our caregivers is not just a priority — it is a precondition for delivering high-quality and compassionate care.

We created a No One Cares Alone Playbook with examples and best practices to scale the program, especially in health care environments where caregivers are facing burnout and the stakes are particularly high, and the model could be adapted to other workplace settings as well.  

Download the No One Cares Alone: A Caregiver Mental Wellness Ecosystem, a playbook outlining the menu of Caregiver Mental Wellness programs developed by Providence in 2021-22 for other healthcare organizations to model and implement.

Included in this playbook are details about the Providence Caregiver Stress Meter, an online tool that enables Providence caregivers to rate their current stress level and directs them to the appropriate
resources available to them. 

Our colleagues at the American Hospital Association built this concept and developed the Stress Meter ™,  a free resource for hospitals, particularly those with very limited resources. Learn more and access the Stress Meter ™ .

The information on this website is not intended to be medical advice. Medical advice can only be provided by your personal health care provider.