On Day 14, we’re turning to “The Harvard Study of Adult Development,” an 80 year-old research study (and counting) from Harvard that shows how human connection and relationships are central to good health.

From the article:
“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” said Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”

Connections at MHC
At Mental Health Connecticut (MHC), we experience the power of relationships each day. Our entire model only works if the relationship between our staff and those receiving services is based on trust, respect, and mutual fulfillment.

Here is one example of a program participant sharing their experience with Residential Counselor Rachael Valakas from our our Danbury program:

“Rachael believed in me when no one else believed in me, and I certainly did not believe in myself. Without her unwavering support, I would still be stuck in my apartment, alone, agoraphobic, drinking, and unable to be of use to my family in the critical way I am today. I can’t say enough about her. She still gives me the same quality, and quantity of support, now that I am out in the world. I would not be taking new steps towards my future in such a planful way without her. She is my true Guardian Angel! Along with being incredibly smart and always professional. You have a real gem here.” – Program Participant from Danbury, CT

Thank you Rachael – and all of our staff – for everything you do to keep those relationships strong and full of empathy and connection!

Relationship building and sustaining might be some of the most difficult work that each of us do in our lives, and it takes daily practice. But, as a critical component to health, we hope that you will find ways to invest in the people you love. The return of wellbeing will make it all worth it!