Healthy Living Programs
Mental Health is Health

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) has some helpful tips to increase your social connections and raise awareness about mental health! 


Loneliness, a critical public health concern, affects our physical and mental health. It’s associated with heart disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety and premature death. Loneliness has become so common — affecting at least half of all adults in the United States — that the U.S. Surgeon General considers it an urgent public health concern, worthy of a government advisory issued in May 2023. Surprisingly, you’re not alone — about 60% of U.S. adults feel lonely regularly. The 2023 Gallup Well-Being Index reported nearly 1 in 5 Beach Cities residents having little or no connection to other people.  

Let’s address this national and local concern together. Developing social skills can reduce loneliness, benefiting both personal and professional relationships. Regardless of our starting point, we have the capacity to enhance our social skills over time.  

Take action to combat loneliness and foster meaningful social connections to better your mental health: 

  1. Initiate Conversations: Push through any hesitation and be open to starting conversations with strangers. A simple smile or friendly greeting can go a long way. Kindness and empathy spark the release of feel-good oxytocin in the brain of everyone involved, including observers. You can positively influence your community by being aware of how you interact with everyone. Assume that people like you — they probably do!  
  2. Sense of Belonging: Cultivate a sense of belonging to increase resilience, better cope with difficult times and have supportive relationships. Volunteering, pursuing hobbies or contributing to a cause can create a feeling of belonging. Be part of the community and participate in meaningful activities. Seek out clubs, classes or local gatherings related to your interests. Participating in shared activities can lead to new friendships, reduce stress, diminish feelings of loneliness and increase your well-being. 
  3. Deepen Relationships: Actively listen when talking to friends or family. Show genuine interest in their lives and share your own experiences. Vulnerability can strengthen bonds. Allowing others to show they care for us is as important as providing care for someone in need. Listen with empathy and curiosity while you open up about your needs too. Let's create a culture of connection and understanding.  

Remember, within our community, there are fellow seekers of connection. Keep reaching out and remember that meaningful bonds evolve gradually. Fulfilling relationships and social connection are key to happiness, health and longevity. 

> More tips to support your mental health
  • It's important to practice self-care and seek strategies to help us maintain good mental health. In fact, some of the same self-care strategies we use to maintain our physical health, like exercise and healthy eating, can also impact our mental health. It’s important to focus on these preventive actions that support your mental health before you feel overwhelmed. 
  • Eat well: Learn how foods fuel your body. Click here for nutrition guides and recipes. Eating out or doing takeout? Visit a local Blue Zones Project Approved Restaurant for healthy options. 
  • Get enough sleep: Did you know that 1 in 3 adults – and even more adolescents - don’t get enough sleep? Click here for more tips on sleep health. 
  • Exercise: Join the Center for Health & Fitness, it’s all here, in the most comprehensive fitness center in the South Bay! State-of-the-art fitness center, yoga, Pilates, weight management and a staff dietitian are just some of what’s offered at the Center for Health and Fitness. Whether you’re devoted to exercise, just getting started, or have special needs, the fitness experts here will design a program just right for you. 
  • Practice mindfulness: Add a mindfulness practice to your daily schedule. Click here for a playlist of guided exercises. 
  • Connect with a Moai: A Moai (pronounced “Mo Eye”) is a group of people meeting for a common purpose and can include activities like walking, purpose discussions and potluck meals. Connect with others who share your passions. Learn more here. 
  • Give back to your community: Volunteer with BCHD and have an integral role in improving the health and well-being of Beach Cities residents – help the community while improving your own well-being! Click here to view current volunteer opportunities. 
> Get support for yourself or someone you care about
  • Professional help and support are available locally within the Beach Cities.
  • For health-related resources and information for adults and families within the South Bay and Greater Los Angeles area call BCHD’s Assistance, Information and Referral Line, (310) 374-3426 and press option 1. Visit us at for a wide range of resources including youth, older adult and legal and financial support.
  • allcove Beach Cities is a place for young people (ages 12-25) to take a moment of pause and access a range of services: mental health, physical health, supported education and employment, substance use, peer and family support, life skills and wellness, and community.
    Learn more here.
  • If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening concern, please call 9-1-1. If your concern is not life-threatening, support is also available by contacting the 24/7 providers listed below:
    • Text “LA” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line
    • Call 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
    • Call 1-866-488-7386 to reach The Trevor Project for crisis intervention services specific for LGBTQ+ youth
    • Call 1-877-541-2525 to reach the Community Helpline for non-emergency support