Natural Support:

Natural support refers to the assistance, care, and resources provided by individuals' informal social networks, such as family, friends, neighbours, and community members. It involves the inherent support that comes from personal relationships and social connections within one's natural environment.

Natural support plays a crucial role in promoting well-being, resilience, and overall quality of life. It can provide emotional support, practical assistance, guidance, and companionship to individuals in various aspects of their lives. Some examples of natural support include:

Emotional Support: Family members, friends, or significant others can offer emotional support by providing a listening ear, empathy, understanding, and encouragement during challenging times. They can provide a sense of belonging, acceptance, and unconditional love.

Practical Assistance: Natural support networks can help with practical tasks such as childcare, household chores, transportation, or running errands. They may also offer financial support, help with job searches, or assist with daily living activities.

Social Engagement: Natural support networks play a vital role in facilitating social connections and reducing social isolation. They can encourage participation in social activities, community events, and gatherings, providing opportunities for socialization and a sense of belonging.

Advocacy: Family members or friends can act as advocates, supporting individuals in navigating systems, accessing services, and ensuring their rights are protected. They can help individuals express their needs and preferences and ensure their voices are heard.

Knowledge and Information Sharing: Natural support networks can provide information, guidance, and advice based on their own experiences or expertise. They can offer insights, suggestions, and recommendations related to various aspects of life, including healthcare, education, career choices, and personal development.

Role Modelling and Mentorship: Positive role models within natural support networks can inspire and guide individuals toward personal growth, healthy behaviours, and positive life choices. They can offer guidance, share life experiences, and serve as mentors or sources of inspiration.

Natural support complements professional services and formal systems of support. It helps individuals feel connected, supported, and valued within their communities. Recognizing and strengthening natural support networks can promote well-being, resilience, and a sense of belonging, particularly for individuals facing mental health challenges or other life difficulties.

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