Humans are hardwired for connection
Inclusion Yukon started the My Life My Body Project in 2015. Over that time we have talked with many individuals with intellectual disabilities, their families, caregivers and support staff and we have heard one resounding theme.
Folks with intellectual disabilities are looking for connection and love just like the rest of us - and they are struggling to find it without the skills and the opportunities to do so.
Many of us reading this statement might focus on the love part - but what we’ve learned is that it’s really about the connection part. Humans are hardwired for connection. We crave it. It is a basic human need - like eating. And we will do all that we can with the tools that we have to get it. This is where folks with intellectual disabilities often get into trouble. Without the right tools, they can harm themselves and others in the attempts to connect.
Close relationships are one of the biggest predictors of happiness. And they can reduce the risk of early death by 50%. The effect on our health of not having human connection is the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
For individuals with intellectual disabilities,
human connection can be hard to get. Over half report social isolation and a third have had NO contact with friends in over a year leaving them at a significantly higher risk of depression, anxiety, and early death.
This month, we are sharing the stories of a few our community members, to showcase the positive impact of friendships and relationships in their lives and to talk about the role sexuality and healthy relationship education plays in creating vibrant lives.
Visit the online workshops page for more
Check out our resources page for links to local and national organizations and sexual health resources and learning materials.