Social and Community Context

An individual’s active involvement in his or her community can reduce the risk of depression and increase a sense of purpose. Negative factors such a discrimination and incarceration have the potential to hinder an individual for the rest of their life.

Civic Participation

Voting, volunteering and participating in group activities all contribute to a healthy community, which contributes to secondary health benefits for participants. Increasing social networks and engaging in meaningful civic activities can help individuals develop and sense of purpose.


Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different kinds of people. Stress depression, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses have an increased risk in an individual if they’ve experienced discrimination.


When compared to the general population, individuals who have been incarcerated are in worse mental and physical health. Families and even entire families can be disrupted when an individual is incarcerated. Emotional and financial strain increases when a household suddenly has only one parent and is unprepared.

Social Cohesion

The strength of relationships and solidarity with a community an individual feels is important not only for psycho-social wellbeing, but physical health as well. Emotional stress can be decreased by social support, and neighborly protection in cases of natural disasters can create a safer communal refuge.

To learn more, visit the CDC website.