Comment: Why we all need good neighbours
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Remember the yonder olden days, when we all knew our neighbours, left our doors unlocked and were on first name terms with the lady in the shop and the man in the pub?
Those days, as we're constantly being reminded, are gone.
Many of us don't know our neighbours now, with only 53 per cent of people quizzed in a recent Laurus Homes survey saying they felt a sense of community with others that lived on their street.
Community definitely matters, and experts fear that many of us are one friendly "morning" away from social isolation and associated mental health problems.
Seriously. It sounds excessive, but the data suggests there's more than a little bit of truth to be found.
You may also want to watch:
A BMC Public Health paper found that working-age adults who lived alone were far more likely to develop mental health problems and rely on antidepressants than those who lived in a shared household.
You can see why.
- 1 Welcome to the House of Poutine, St Albans' newest city centre eatery
- 2 The latest court results for the St Albans area
- 3 Harpenden's disappearing banks - will Barclays be next?
- 4 Diedhiou destroys Casuals' dreams to grab replay for St Albans City
- 5 Brilliant Breakfast goes down a treat with the women of St Albans
- 6 St Albans City 'got away with it' says boss after snatching FA Cup replay at Corinthian Casuals
- 7 Memories of a famous FA Cup run for Stevenage after first round draw made
- 8 Mouth of the Tyne: St Albans City don't do lower league opposition but keep bringing them on
- 9 Can you help police trace Park Street vandal?
- 10 Look! Sneak peek inside Harpenden's new Eric Morecambe Centre
Too much time alone isn't good for any of us, and a quick chat can definitely help turn a depressing day around.
We've been in our current place for three months, and haven't got beyond basic smalltalk with any of our neighbours.
Having made a handful of good friends at our old address, it's taken a bit of getting used to. It's also made life more complicated in ways we'd got out of the habit of thinking about.
When we went away over Christmas I made a conscious effort to hide jewellery and electronics and confirm that any incoming parcels would be carefully hidden, not left out on the (empty) drive for all the see.
With no one to pop in and open the curtains or push the post through the letterbox, we were worried the house would look inviting to passing crims.
Good neighbours, eh? Not just potential good friends and relievers of mental stress, but handy for keeping burglars at bay, too.