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Meaningful conversations with strangers can help mental health

0 6 months ago

As the weather gets colder and the days grow shorter, it’s easy to find yourself feeling isolated. That’s why the GenWell Project, an organization addressing issues of social isolation, is helping you overcome loneliness by encouraging meaningful conversations with strangers.

“What we’re beginning to learn from the latest social science research is that actually these casual relationships, even interactions with people you don’t know, are also beneficial for you,” said Kiffer Card, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University.

Meaningful conversations with strangers can help mental health | CityNews  Montreal

“You feel safer in your community. They build social cohesion. But there also seems to be some human factor of just face-to-face social connection, fulfilling some innate need that we have to be connected to other people.”

The group launched the initiative called, Talk To A Stranger Week, which kicked off on Monday. The idea is simple, just strike up a conversation with a stranger.

“All these interactions that we can have with a stranger, the Uber driver, the person at the depanneur, somebody that’s standing in line in the grocery store, these little interactions of saying hello, giving a smile, making a nice comment, being optimistic,” said Betty Esperanza, an ambassador at the GenWell Project.

Speaking to some Montrealers, CityNews found that many people don’t talk to strangers. When asked, if they talked to strangers, those who were willing to talk and provide an answer responded with “not very often” or “almost never.”

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