Young adults with increased levels of social support are less likely to experience mental health problems, new research in JAMA Network Open has found.
The study, conducted at McGill University, involved the use of data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study on Child Development, comprised of more than 1,000 participants.
Assessing the increased use of social support for safeguarding against mental health adversities yielded promising findings.
According to the team at McGill University, their assessment of the data led to the conclusion that higher levels of social support were associated with significantly lower instances of severe depressive symptoms and anxiety.
“Our study was conducted before the current COVID-19 pandemic, so we do not know whether our results will apply in the current context,” said Sara Scardera, co-author of the study, in a news release.
“However, in a ‘normal’ context, youth who perceived that they had someone to rely on reported better mental health outcomes. We believe that is beneficial to offer help to those in need, and to make sure your friends know that they can count on you.”
Co-author Marie-Claude Geoffroy also concluded the following, “Our study shows that even in cases where people previously experienced mental health problems, social support was beneficial for mental health later on.”