For many individuals who experience serious mental illnesses, social isolation and loneliness are part of their experience of everyday life. However, social connection is not simply being in the presence of others. Do people notice when someone is there or when they are absent? Does their presence contribute to the social environment or to the activity? In short, does it feel like they matter? So, while it may seem like simply spending more time with other people might combat loneliness, it appears that reducing loneliness and isolation likely involves more than increasing one’s social connections. Mattering may be a key component to effectively reducing loneliness among individuals who experience mental illnesses. This document presents the importance of social connections and mattering for all people, and why these issues are especially important for people living with mental illnesses.
Why Mattering Matters: The importance of mattering for people with serious mental illness