Why Social Activities Are Essential for Mental Health: Insights from a Case Manager

Aiden Starling

Updated Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

In a recent Tumblr post reblogged by Seanan McGuire and originally shared by Genderq****d***s, the importance of social activities for mental health was profoundly highlighted. The post recounts an experience with a case manager who included the affordability of social activities in a comprehensive needs assessment. This checklist was designed to refresh the treatment plan and focused on various areas of financial struggles, specifically inquiring about the ability to afford social activities such as hanging out with friends and going to the movies.

The pivotal question asked was, "Do you have enough money every month to be able to afford social activities?" Notably, this was not categorized as a luxury but was listed alongside basic necessities like food, housing, medical needs, transportation, bills, and clothing. This revelation brought the poster to tears, realizing that social interactions and leisure activities are considered fundamental to everyone’s mental well-being.

The case manager emphasized that no one should have to "earn" the right to socialize or engage in activities that bring personal fulfillment. The notion that all financial resources must be allocated solely to survival and practicality is not only misleading but detrimental to mental health. For anyone who has been told that social or leisure activities are unnecessary or that their money should exclusively cover survival needs, the message is clear: this is a harmful lie. Social and leisure activities are crucial for maintaining mental health and well-being.

The post resonated deeply with many users, generating over 7,610 notes. Comments on the post ranged from personal anecdotes to broader societal critiques. One user mentioned how they are preparing to ask for a significant raise because, while they can afford to live, they cannot afford the aspects that make life enjoyable, such as travel and sports. Another user highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in making people realize the importance of social connections and activities.

Comments also addressed the broader implications of capitalism on mental health, with several users criticizing the societal expectation that financial resources should be devoted entirely to survival. One particularly poignant comment likened someone who is merely surviving without social interactions to a "vegetable" on life support, emphasizing that engaging with people and experiences is integral to being human.

The conversation extended to discussions on affordable living, with users sharing their struggles to manage finances while ensuring they can still engage in social activities. The consensus was clear: mental health and well-being are significantly enhanced by the ability to participate in social and leisure activities.

In summary, the Tumblr post shared by Genderq****d***s and reblogged by Seanan McGuire underscores an essential truth—social activities are not luxuries but necessary purchases for maintaining mental health. This insight challenges the pervasive narrative that prioritizes survival over fulfillment and calls for a more holistic approach to financial and mental well-being.

Noticed an error or an aspect of this article that requires correction? Please provide the article link and reach out to us. We appreciate your feedback and will address the issue promptly.

View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


I encourage my clients to engage in social and leisure activities as much as possible. There's research to back up the impact they have on health and well-being.


They’re not lying, they just don’t give a f*** about your health unless it can be monetized.


This is exactly the notion I'm trying to cultivate in my mind as I'm about a month away from telling my boss that I need a significant raise because I can't afford a life. Yes I can afford to be alive, I do make almost a living wage, but I can't afford the things that make life worth living, like travel, sports, nice meals from time to time, maybe even saving for the future.


Buy that g*****n steak with your EBT card and don't listen to a word about it.


I think the covid pandemic helped greatly in spreading this insight. Suddenly droves of people, normally not financial or social vulnerable, experienced what it is to be lonely...


Very true, but also to try to reach across the chasm to the capitalist freaks who think everyone should work to death to be able to get some free time. Who the hell do you idiots think should buy all these luxury wares you guys are selling when you've made the entire society so poor they can barely make rent and food? These idiots aren't even good business men, they are just greedy f***s who are bleeding society and the planet dry.


You know what else is obscene? The accepted belief that we must "work for a living." If we don't have a job, we don't live. If we gave up a system that creates and supports kings and billionaires, we also wouldn't have poverty. We need a universal living wage that covers the basic necessities of life - healthy, nutritious food, shelter, medical care, basic social infrastructure like communication, transportation, arts, sports, etc. When we work, we do so for fulfillment and for personal goals.


The last line is most important to me. "Don't f***ing listen to them."


Yup. Think about the idea of someone being a "vegetable" - being on life support and being clinically alive, but unresponsive. Is that person someone you'd consider "alive"? Probably not, because engaging with people and experiences is an integral part of what it means to be human. Unfortunately, capitalism has done a bang-up job of gaslighting people into thinking comfort and joy are rewards you earn by being sufficiently productive, and not necessities of being alive as a human.


Maybe one day I'll go beyond barely surviving. Maybe.

Check out our latest stories